An Experimental Study of Uncertainty in Coordination Games

Date: 2015-09-23
By: Ioannou, Christos A.
Makris, Miltiadis
Global games and Poisson games have been proposed to address equilibrium indeterminacy in Coordination games. The former assume that agents face idiosyncratic uncertainty about economic fundamentals to capture disperse information, whereas the latter model the number of actual players as a Poisson random variable to capture population uncertainty in large games. Given that their predictions differ, it is imperative to understand which type of uncertainty drives empirical behavior in macroeconomic environments with strategic complementarities. Recent experimental literature finds mixed results on whether subjects’ behavior is similar in Global and Common Knowledge Coordination games, and hence on whether idiosyncratic uncertainty about economic fundamentals is an important determinant of subjects’ behavior. Poisson Coordination games have not been investigated experimentally. We fill this gap. Our findings suggest that uncertainty about the number of actual players may influence subjects’ behavior. Crucially, such behavior is consistent with the theoretical prediction of Poisson Coordination games.