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Published October 2003 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Risk averse behavior in generalized matching pennies games


In experimental studies of behavior in 2×2 games with unique mixed strategy equilibria, observed choice frequencies are systematically different from mixed-strategy Nash predictions. This paper examines experimental results for a variety of such games, and shows that a structural econometric model which incorporates risk aversion into a quantal response equilibrium explains the data very well. Moreover, risk aversion estimates are stable across the different games and are close to those obtained from laboratory and field auction data, as well as from individual lottery choice experiments.

Additional Information

© 2003 Elsevier. Received 15 November 2000. This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (SBR-0094800 and SES-0079301) and by the John D. Hacker Social Science Experimental Laboratory at Caltech. We are grateful to two anonymous referees for useful suggestions, and to Sean Gailmard, Serena Guarnaschelli, and Vale Murthy for their assistance in conducting the experiments.

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