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Published September 1, 2017 | Submitted
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An Experimental Analysis of Nash Refinements in Signaling Games


This paper investigates the refinements of Nash equilibrium in two person signaling game experiments. The experimental games cover the watershed of the nested refinements: Bayes-Nash, Sequential, Intuitive, Divine, Universally Divine, NWBR, and Stabel. In each game an equilibrium selection problem is defined in which adjacent refinements are considered. The pattern of outcomes suggest that individuals select the more refined equilibria up to the divinity concept. However, an anomaly occurs in the game in which the stable equilibrium is a clear preference among the subjects. Since the concepts are nested this suggests that the outcomes are game specific. Sender behavior does not seem to follow any specific decision rule (e.g., Nash, minmax, PIR, etc.) while receiver actions tend to correspond to the Nash equilibrium outcomes.

Additional Information

We are indebted to Mark Olson for help in statistical analysis and programming. Audiences at Washington University, University of Arizona, University of Houston, and University of Pennsylvania provided helpful comments. This research was partially funded by the Wharton Risk and Decision Processes Center. Support for the second author was provided by the National Science Foundation (SES 87-08566). Published as Banks, Jeffrey and Camerer, Colin and Porter, David (1994) An Experimental Analysis of Nash Refinements in Signaling Games. Games and Economic Behavior, 6 (1). pp. 1-31.

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