Some Strategic Aspects of Private Information: An Experimental Study

Date: 2016-04-20
By: Andrés Salamanca Lugo (TSE – Toulouse School of Economics – Toulouse School of Economics)
Olga Manrique Chaparro (Universidad Nacional de Colombia [Bogotá])
In this paper we experimentally analyze the use of private information in a class of zero-sum repeated games with incomplete information on one side and perfect monitoring. We analyze whether the information disclosure by the informed players, and its use by the uninformed players, matches the theoretical predictions. We consider two games that differ according to the amount of information that the informed player should optimally disclose: in the first game, the informed player should entirely conceal his information. In contrast, in the second game the informed player should fully disclose his information. We find that the flow of information is higher than predicted in the first game and lower than predicted in the second game. However, the use of information is strictly higher in the second game than in the first one. Uninformed subjects tend not to use the revealed information in the first game, and seem to misinterpret the revealed information in the second game.
Keywords: Repeated games,incomplete information,experiments

Information Cascades with Informative Ratings: An Experimental Test

Date: 2016-05
By: Paul J. Healy (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)
John Conlon (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)
Yeochang Yoon (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)
We study behavior in an information cascades setting where previous buyers of the product leave noisy but informative ratings of the product. Although this increases the amount of public information available, Yoon (2015, working paper) shows that ratings can actually increase the frequency of cascades in which buyers do not purchase even though the product is of high quality. This occurs because non-buyers do not leave ratings. Although we find some evidence roughly in line with the theory, those results are swamped by a strong tendency for subjects to purchase even when public information suggests they should not.
Keywords: Information Cascades; Herding; Activity Bias
JEL: D83 C92 D03

Can Farmers Create Efficient Information Networks? Experimental Evidence from Rural India

Date: 2015
By: A. Stefano Caria
Marcel Fafchamps
We run an artefactual field experiment in rural India which tests whether farmers can create efficient networks in a repeated link formation game, and whether group categorization results in homophily and loss of network efficiency. We find that the efficiency of the networks formed in the experiment is significantly lower than the efficiency which could be achieved under selfish, rational play. Many individual decisions are consistent with selfish rationality and with a concern for overall welfare, but the tendency to link with the ‘most popular’ farmer in the network causes large efficiency losses. When information about group membership is disclosed, social networks become more homophilous, but not significantly less efficient. Networks play an important role in the diffusion of innovations in developing countries. If they are inefficiently structured, there is scope for development policies that support diffusion.

Quality Versus Quantity in Information Transmission: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Date: 2015-01
By: Alistair Wilson
Jonathan Lafky
Information sharing has become increasingly important in helping consumers make better, more informed choices over competing products. Our project uses a novel theoretical framework and laboratory experiments to analyze three simple, commonly used incentive schemes against an unincentivized baseline. Each incentive scheme has qualitatively different theoretical predictions for behavior and efficiency, while our laboratory experiments examine the degree to which these differences manifest themselves, and the best-cast theory`s robustness to human behavior. Our findings indicate the possibility for substantial efficiency gains by introducing incentives that reward information sharing, even where those incentives drive a wedge between those sending and those receiving information.
Keywords: Ratings, Information Sharing, Dishonesty, Incentives
JEL: C71 C92 D82 D83

Whom are you talking with? An experiment on credibility and communication structure

Date: 2014-10
By: Gilles Grandjean
Marco Mantovani
Ana Mauleon
Vincent Vannetelbosch
The paper analyzes the role of the structure of communication – i.e. who is talking with whom – on the choice of messages, on their credibility and on actual play. We run an experiment in a three-player coordination game with Pareto ranked equilibria, where a pair of agents has a profitable joint deviation from the Pareto-dominant equilibrium. According to our analysis of credibility, the subjects should communicate and play the Pareto optimal equilibrium only when communication is public. When pairs of agents exchange messages privately, the players should play the Pareto dominated equilibrium and disregard communication. The experimental data conform to our predictions: the agents reach the Pareto-dominant equilibrium only when announcing to play it is credible. When private communication is allowed, lying is prevalent, and players converge to the Pareto-dominated equilibrium. Nevertheless, at the individual level, players’ beliefs and choices tend to react to messages even when these are non-credible.
Keywords: cheap talk, coordination, coalitions, experiment
JEL: C72 C91 D03 D83

An Experimental Study of Persuasion Bias and Social Influence in Networks

==Noted by yinung==
這篇和我之前的想法有點像, 不同處在於, 我是以小團體 (例如委員會) 中的資訊發表 (或擴散) 模式來探討, 並以多數決、一致決、不同意見發表能見度機率…來建構實驗; 這篇則是以連結數為主的設計 (比較適合一般網路世界)。
突然產生一個研究想法, 若 one of the committee members 想要增加他自已的影響力, 他才有過度發表 (宣傳) 他的意見的動機; 故在實驗設計中:
1. 每個 agent 有自已的 private signals (各有準確的機率), 或某些人還有 public reputation (比自己的 private signal 準確率高/低)
2. 每個 agent 動機都是為 group 好 / 加入 agent 自已的 utility, 認同他的人愈多, 則 utility 愈大)
3. 這個特別的 agent 可能是經理, 主席, 社團領袖, 只是普通的組員 (強調不同決策形成模式)
    經理: 獨裁但負全責
    主席: 多數決, 責任分擔
    社團領袖: 共識決, , 責任分擔
    普通組員: 非意見領袖
Date: 2014-10
By: Jordi Brandts (Institutd’AnalisiEconomica(CSIC))
Ayça Ebru Giritligil (Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies)
Roberto A. Weber (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)
In many areas of social life individuals receive information about a particular issue of interest from multiple sources. When these sources are connected through a network then proper aggregation of this information by an individual involves taking into account the structure of this network. The inability to aggregate properly may lead to various types of distortions. In our experiment a number of agents all want to find out the value of a particular parameter unknown to all. Agents receive private signals about the parameter and agents can communicate their estimates of the parameter repeatedly through a network, the structure of which is known by all players. We present results from experiments with four different networks. We find that the information of agents who have more outgoing links in a network gets more weight in the information aggregation of the other agents than it optimally should. Our results are consistent with the model of “persuasion bias” of De Marzo et al. (2003) and at odds with an alternative heuristic according to which the most influential agents are those with more incoming links.

Sequential selling and information dissemination in the presence of network effects

Date: 2014-10
By: Junjie Zhou (School of International Business Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 777 Guoding Road, Shanghai, 200433, China)
Ying-Ju Chen (School of Business and Management & School of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
In this paper, we examine how a seller sells a product/service with a positive consumption externality, and customers are uncertain about the product’s/service’s value. Because early adopters learn this value, we consider the customers’ intrinsic signaling incentives and positive feedback effects. Anticipating this, the seller commits to provide price discounts to the followers, and charges the leader a high price. Thus, the profit-maximizing pricing features the cream skimming strategy. We also show that the lack of seller’s commitment is detrimental to the social welfare; nonetheless, the sequential selling still boosts up the seller’s profit. Embedding a physical network with arbitrary payoff externality among customers, we investigate the optimal targeting strategy in the presence of information asymmetry. We provide precise indices for this leader selection problem. For undirected graphs, we should simply choose the player with the highest degree, irrespective of the seller’s commitment power. Going beyond this family of networks, in general the seller’s commitment power affects the optimal targeting strategy.
Keywords: revenue management; signaling; information transmission; social networks;
JEL: D82 L14 L15

Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting

==noted by yinung==

這和我之前構想過的 committee (group) 決策行為之實驗有關
委員會中, 有專家和非專家。在專家公正的情況下,非專家棄權是正確的決定; 但若專家可能有 bias, 則非專家 (uninformed) 的投票可以抵消 biased 決策的形
Q1: 本文所提之 information efficiency 定義為何?
Individuals often vote in situations where they have less than perfect information about the choices before them. Moreover, information is typically asymmetrically distributed, where somevoters have better knowledge about the choices than others.

one norm is to delegate to the so-called experts, the individuals who are known to have better information
關鍵投票 vote is pivotal, either forces a tie or breaks a tie.
the uninformed voter’s participation has resulted in a worse outcome.
Feddersen and Pesendorfer (1996, 1999), in a seminal set of papers, pointed out that voters with low information levels should avoid this “swing voter’s curse " and rationally abstain, delegating the choice to fully informed voters.
Battaglini, Morton, and Palfrey (2008, 2010) Önd support for such “delegation through abstention."(以棄權方式來授權)
Using experiments, Morton and Tyran show that the equilibria with delegation through abstention are attractive to voters. Even when it is informationally efficient for all voters to participate, about half the time less informed voters abstain, delegating thedecision to more informed voters. (讓專業決定: let the experts decide)
Date: 2014-09-07
By: Rebecca Morton (Department of Politics, New York University)
Jean-Robert Tyran (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)
We investigate experimentally the effects of corrupt experts on information aggregation in committees. We find that non-experts are significantly less likely to delegate through abstention (棄權?) when there is a probability that experts are corrupt. Such decreased abstention, when the probability of corrupt experts is low, actually increases information efficiency in committee decision-making. However, if the probability of corrupt experts is large, the effect is not sufficient to offset the mechanical effect of decreased information efficiency due to corrupt experts. Our results demonstrate that the norm of “letting the expert decide” in committee voting is influenced by the probability of corrupt experts, and that influence can have, to a limited extent, a positive effect on information efficiency.
Keywords: Information aggregation, Voting, Asymmetric information, Swing voter’s curse
JEL: C92 D71 D72 D81 D82

Strategic Disclosure of Demand Information by Duopolists: Theory and Experiment

Date: 2014-09-01
By: Jos Jansen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
Andreas Pollak (University of Cologne)
We study the strategic disclosure of demand information and product-market strategies of duopolists. In a setting where firms may fail to receive information, we show that firms selectively disclose information in equilibrium in order to influence their competitor’s product-market strategy. Subsequently, we analyze the firms’ behavior in a laboratory experiment. We find that subjects often use selective disclosure strategies, and this finding appears to be robust to changes in the information structure, the mode of competition, and the degree of product differentiation. Moreover, subjects in our experiment display product-market conduct that is largely consistent with theoretical predictions.
Keywords: duopoly, Cournot competition, Bertrand competition, information disclosure, incomplete information, common value, product differentiation, asymmetry, skewed distribution, laboratory experiment
JEL: C92 D22 D82 D83 L13 M4

The Impact of Information Provision on Agglomeration Bonus Performance: An Experimental Study on Local Networks

Date: 2013
By: Banerjee, Simanti
de Vries, Frans P.
Hanley, Nick
van Soest, Daan
The Agglomeration Bonus (AB) is a mechanism to induce adjacent landowners to spatially coordinate their land use for the delivery of ecosystem services from farmland. This paper uses laboratory experiments to explore the performance of the AB in achieving the socially optimal land management configuration in a local network environment where the information available to subjects varies. The AB poses a coordination problem between two Nash equilibria: a Pareto dominant and a risk dominant equilibrium. The experiments indicate that if subjects are informed about both their direct and indirect neighbors’ actions, they are more likely to coordinate on the Pareto dominant equilibrium relative to the case where subjects have information about their direct neighbors’ action only. However, the extra information can only delay – and not prevent – the transition to the socially inferior risk dominant Nash equilibrium. In the long run, the AB mechanism may only be partially effective in enhancing delivery of ecosystem services on farming landscapes featuring local networks.
Keywords: Agglomeration bonus, agri-environment schemes, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, information spillovers, Payments for Ecosystem Services, spatial coordination,