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Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and "Weak Link" Coordination Games

Weber, Roberto A. and Camerer, Colin F. and Knez, Marc (2004) Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and "Weak Link" Coordination Games. Experimental Economics, 7 (1). pp. 25-48. ISSN 1386-4157. doi:10.1023/A:1026257921046.

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Previous studies have shown that simply knowing one player moves first can affect behavior in games, even when the first-mover's moves are known to be unobservable. This observation violates the game-theoretic principle that timing of unobserved moves is irrelevant, but is consistent with virtual observability, a theory of how timing can matter without the ability to observe actions. However, this previous research only shows that timing matters in games where knowledge that one player moved first can help select that player's preferred equilibrium, presenting an alternative explanation to virtual observability. We extend this work by varying timing of unobservable moves in ultimatum bargaining games and “weak link” coordination games. In the latter, the equilibrium selection explanation does not predict any change in behavior due to timing differences. We find that timing without observability affects behavior in both games, but not substantially.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ItemWorking Paper
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Alternate Title:Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games
Additional Information:© 2004 Economic Science Association. Received April 28, 2000; Accepted June 5, 2003. We thank Gary Bolton, Yuval Rottenstreich, participants in the Chicago GSB Behavioral Science brown bag workshop, the Wharton Decision Processes workshop, the 1996 Public Choice Society meeting, and anonymous referees for comments and suggestions, and NSF grant SBR 95-11001 for financial support.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFSBR 95-11001
Subject Keywords:timing, coordination games, experiments
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:JEL Classification: C72, C92
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110204-104739735
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Official Citation:Weber, R. A., C. F. Camerer, et al. (2004). "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and “Weak Link” Coordination Games." Experimental Economics 7(1): 25-48.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22016
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 22:49
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:02

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