Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published November 29, 2017 | Submitted + Draft
Report Open

On Eliciting Beliefs in Strategic Games


Several recent studies in experimental economics have tried to measure beliefs of subjects engaged in strategic games with other subjects. Using data from one such study (Nyarko-Schotter, 2002) we conduct an experiment where our experienced subjects observe early rounds of strategy choices from that study and are given monetary incentives to report forecasts of choices in later rounds. We elicit beliefs using three different scoring rules: linear, logarithmic, and quadratic. There are differences between the elicited beliefs under quadratic and logarithmic scoring rules in spite of both being proper scoring rules. The (improper) linear scoring rule frequently elicits boundary forecasts as theory predicts, and is poorly calibrated. We compare the forecasts of our trained observers to forecasts of the actual players in the Nyarko-Schotter experiment and identify several differences. There was a significant positive correlation between observer forecasts and the choice behavior in the game under both proper scoring rules, but no significant correlation between the players' own forecasts and the actual play. This raises doubts about whether beliefs can be reliably elicited from players who simultaneously have a stake in the target of their forecast, in this case the opponent's choice. The distribution of player forecasts also tended to be more extreme than the observer forecasts using either of the proper scoring rules. We also find evidence of belief convergence when beliefs are elicited iteratively from a group.

Additional Information

Revised. Original dated to March 2007. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation (SES-0079301, SES-0450712, SES-0094800), The Princeton Laboratory for Experimental Social Science, and the Social Science Experimental Laboratory at Caltech. We are grateful for comments from Juan Carrillo, audience members at the 2007 meeting of the Public Choice Society in Amsterdam, and participants at the 2007 conference at the University of Exeter on Risk, Forecast, and Decision.

Attached Files

Submitted - sswp1271_-_revised.pdf

Draft - sswp1271.pdf


Files (914.4 kB)
Name Size Download all
561.2 kB Preview Download
353.2 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
January 14, 2024