Convergence: An Experimental Study of Teaching and Learning in Repeated Games

Kyle Hyndman, Erkut Ozbay, Andrew Schotter, and Wolf Z. Ehrblatt , Journal of the European Economic Association 10(3) , 573-604 , June 2012.

Nash equilibrium can be interpreted as a steady state where players hold correct beliefs about the other players’ behavior and act rationally. We experimentally examine the process that leads to this steady state. Our results indicate that some players emerge asteachers—those subjects who, by their actions, try to influence the beliefs of their opponent and lead the way to a more favorable outcome—and that the presence of teachers appears to facilitate convergence to Nash equilibrium. In addition to our experiments, we examine games, with different properties, from other experiments and show that teaching plays an important role in these games. We also report results from treatments in which teaching is made more difficult. In these treatments, convergence rates go down and any convergence that does occur is delayed.

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