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A Simple Test of Learning Theory

Jim Engle-Warnick () and Ed Hopkins

Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series from Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: We report experiments designed to test the theoretical possibility, first discovered by Shapley (1964), that in some games learning fails to converge to any equilibrium, either in terms of marginal frequencies or of average play. Subjects played repeatedly in fixed pairings one of two 3 × 3 games, each having a unique Nash equilibrium in mixed strategies. The equilibrium of one game is predicted to be stable under learning, the other unstable, provided payoffs are sufficiently high. We ran each game in high and low payoff treatments. We find that, in all treatments, average play is close to equilibrium even though there are strong cycles present in the data.

Keywords: games; learning; experiments; stochastic fictitious play; mixed strategy equilibria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C73 C92 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29
Date: 2006-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-gth
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7)

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Working Paper: A Simple Test of Learning Theory (2006) Downloads
Working Paper: A Simple Test of Learning Theory (2006) Downloads
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