Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195597
Title:
Essays in Experimental Games
Author:
Dang, Timothy O'Neill
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation contains three essays describing experiments in game theory and economics. Chapter one studies mixed strategies by asking whether game players are willing to pay for randomization. A natural intuition for mixed strategies is randomization for unpredictability, but this is theoretically fragile. A player should only randomize between strategies if indifferent, and then could choose a disequilibrium strategy. Various theories describe mixed strategies not as random play, but heterogeneous pure-strategy play. I conduct experiments in which players can choose to pay a fee to use a randomization device, applied to O’Neill’s zero-sum game. If subjects did so, it would show a strict preference for randomization over any available pure strategy. In fact, very few chose to use the randomization device. Subjects’ descriptions of their decision process were consistent with the notion of purification. Chapter two also studies mixed strategies, asking whether randomization is a property of individual choice or game play. In two experiments, game players are mirrored by guessers who make predictions about game play, distinguishing best-responding from game playing. In a Matching Pennies game, I find that game players are they are both more interested in unpredictability and actually more random. In an Asymmetric Matching Pennies game, I look at whether players are willing to forgo expected payoff in order to be unpredictable, and find little difference between players and guessers, with players being somewhat better at exploiting disequilibrium play. Chapter three experimentally implements markets for competing goods with network effects. Markets with strong network effects often have multiple equilibria, including winner-take-all equilibria in which one firm has a monopoly. Firms may compete dynamically with the aim of locking-in to a favorable equilibrium. In this paper we create an experimental market with differentiated products and network effects. When lock-in is created by simulating naïve buyers, monopoly does arise with sellers setting high prices. With human buyers, markets without switching costs are extremely competitive, with no support for stories of lock-in and monopoly. Markets with switching costs are inefficient, but this is overwhelmingly due to the individual switching costs rather than monopoly.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Experimental economics; Game theory; Industrial organization; Mixed strategies; Network externalities
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Economics; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Dufwenberg, Martin
Committee Chair:
Dufwenberg, Martin

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleEssays in Experimental Gamesen_US
dc.creatorDang, Timothy O'Neillen_US
dc.contributor.authorDang, Timothy O'Neillen_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation contains three essays describing experiments in game theory and economics. Chapter one studies mixed strategies by asking whether game players are willing to pay for randomization. A natural intuition for mixed strategies is randomization for unpredictability, but this is theoretically fragile. A player should only randomize between strategies if indifferent, and then could choose a disequilibrium strategy. Various theories describe mixed strategies not as random play, but heterogeneous pure-strategy play. I conduct experiments in which players can choose to pay a fee to use a randomization device, applied to O’Neill’s zero-sum game. If subjects did so, it would show a strict preference for randomization over any available pure strategy. In fact, very few chose to use the randomization device. Subjects’ descriptions of their decision process were consistent with the notion of purification. Chapter two also studies mixed strategies, asking whether randomization is a property of individual choice or game play. In two experiments, game players are mirrored by guessers who make predictions about game play, distinguishing best-responding from game playing. In a Matching Pennies game, I find that game players are they are both more interested in unpredictability and actually more random. In an Asymmetric Matching Pennies game, I look at whether players are willing to forgo expected payoff in order to be unpredictable, and find little difference between players and guessers, with players being somewhat better at exploiting disequilibrium play. Chapter three experimentally implements markets for competing goods with network effects. Markets with strong network effects often have multiple equilibria, including winner-take-all equilibria in which one firm has a monopoly. Firms may compete dynamically with the aim of locking-in to a favorable equilibrium. In this paper we create an experimental market with differentiated products and network effects. When lock-in is created by simulating naïve buyers, monopoly does arise with sellers setting high prices. With human buyers, markets without switching costs are extremely competitive, with no support for stories of lock-in and monopoly. Markets with switching costs are inefficient, but this is overwhelmingly due to the individual switching costs rather than monopoly.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectExperimental economicsen_US
dc.subjectGame theoryen_US
dc.subjectIndustrial organizationen_US
dc.subjectMixed strategiesen_US
dc.subjectNetwork externalitiesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEconomicsen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDufwenberg, Martinen_US
dc.contributor.chairDufwenberg, Martinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFishback, Priceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWalker, Marken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWooders, Johnen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10297en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752259931en_US
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