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Coordination Behavior in Mode Choice: Laboratory Study of Equilibrium Transformation and Selection

Xiao Han, Yun Yu, Bin Jia, Zi‐You Gao, Rui Jiang and H. Michael Zhang

Production and Operations Management, 2021, vol. 30, issue 10, 3635-3656

Abstract: In a transportation system with multiple equilibria, coordination failure occurs when a group of travelers could achieve the efficient equilibrium but fail because they cannot coordinate their decision‐making under strategic uncertainty. This study investigated factors that might affect coordination behavior in mode choice with both positive and negative externalities. Subjects participated in a mode‐choice game in which they were required to choose between public transport and private car. Positive or negative externalities occurred when subjects chose public transport or private car, respectively, thereby generating two pure‐strategy equilibria in the mode‐choice game. The experimental results indicated that (i) the transparency of descriptive information facilitated not only the convergence to the efficient equilibrium but also the stabilization of choice behavior, (ii) historical experiences of converging to the inefficient equilibrium could affect subjects' initial choices and even equilibrium selection, and (iii) a “higher” barrier between the two equilibria impeded and prolonged the transformation from the inefficient equilibrium to the efficient equilibrium, and a “deeper” attraction basin of the efficient equilibrium was more attractive in equilibrium selection.

Date: 2021
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