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HideSeek - Fatal Attraction Salience Naivete and...

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Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naivete, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games Vincent P. Crawford and Nagore Iriberri 1 20 August 2004; this revision 25 February 2006 "Any government wanting to kill an opponent…would not try it at a meeting with government officials." —comment on the poisoning of Ukrainian presidential candidate (now president) Viktor Yushchenko, quoted in C. J. Chivers (2004) "…in Lake Wobegon, the correct answer is usually 'c'." —Garrison Keillor (1997) on multiple-choice tests, quoted in Yigal Attali and Maya Bar-Hillel (2003) Abstract: "Hide-and-seek" games are zero-sum two-person games in which one player wins by matching the other's decision and the other wins by mismatching. Although such games are often played on cultural or geographic "landscapes" that frame decisions non-neutrally, equilibrium ignores such framing. This paper reconsiders the results of experiments by Rubinstein, Tversky, and others whose designs model non-neutral landscapes, in which subjects deviated systematically from equilibrium in response to them. Comparing alternative explanations theoretically and econometrically suggests that the deviations are best explained by a structural non-equilibrium model of initial responses based on "level- k " thinking, suitably adapted to non-neutral landscapes. Keywords: behavioral game theory, experiments, hide-and-seek games, framing effects, salience, bounded rationality, level- k thinking JEL classification numbers: C70, C92 1 University of California, San Diego. Email: [email protected] and [email protected] . We are grateful to the National Science Foundation (Crawford) and the Centro de Formacion del Banco de España (Iriberri) for research support; to Miguel Costa-Gomes, Victor Ferreira, Barry Nalebuff, Steven Scroggin, Ricardo Serrano-Padial, Joel Sobel, David Swinney, Mark Voorneveld, Mark Walker, Joel Watson, and three anonymous referees for helpful comments or discussions; to Dale Stahl for helpful discussions and for providing a copy of Michael Bacharach and Stahl (1997a); to Stahl and Daniel Zizzo for searching for Michael Bacharach and Stahl (1997b); to Barry O'Neill and Amnon Rapoport (with the help of Ido Erev and Mark Walker, respectively) for providing data from their experiments; and to Ariel Rubinstein for providing a copy of Rubinstein and Amos Tversky (1993), searching for additional data, and helpful discussions. Glenn Close and Michael Douglas ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093010/ ) were no help at all.
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Game theorists have been intrigued by hide-and-seek games—zero-sum two-person games in which one player wins by matching the other's decision and the other wins by mismatching—for more than 50 years (John von Neumann (1953)). These games cleanly model a strategic problem that is central to many economic, political, and social settings as well as the obvious military and security applications. Examples include entry games where entry requires a differentiated product and blocking it requires matching the entrant's design; election campaigns in
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