Does Game Theory Work? The Bargaining Challenge

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This volume brings together all of Ken Binmore's influential experimental papers on bargaining along with newly written commentary in which Binmore discusses the underlying game theory and addresses the criticism leveled at it by behavioral economists.When Binmore began his experimental work in the 1980s, conventional wisdom held that game theory would not work in the laboratory, but Binmore and other pioneers established that game theory can often predict the behavior of experienced players very well in favorable laboratory settings. The case of human bargaining behavior is particularly challenging for game theory. Everyone agrees that human behavior in real-life bargaining situations is governed at least partly by considerations of fairness, but what happens in a laboratory when such fairness considerations supposedly conflict with game-theoretic predictions? Behavioral economists, who emphasize the importance of other-regarding or social preferences,sometimes argue that their findings threaten traditional game theory. Binmore disputes both their interpretations of their findings and their claims about what game theorists think it reasonable to predict.Binmore's findings from two decades of game theory experiments have made a lasting contribution to economics. These papers—some coauthored with other leading economists, including Larry Samuelson,Avner Shaked, and John Sutton—show that game theory does indeed work in favorable laboratory environments, even in the challenging case of bargaining.Does Game Theory Work? The Bargaining Challenge, Volume 2

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Binmore offers a recipe for making game theory work. He focuses on the most basic of its principles, about which many of the theory's critics are unaware, and captures their essence in observable terms, which theorists typically fail to do. Binmore develops the science of game theory by demonstrating that these fundamental principles are able to connect perplexing aspects of human behavior that can be captured by no other branch of science, and he does so through the implementation of laboratory methods that leave no question about how they operate."—Charles R. Plott, Edward S. Harkness Professor of Economics and Political Science, California Institute of Technology

" Does Game Theory Work? My answer is, "Of course not,and why should it?" But even a hardcore skeptic like me recognizes the charm and conviction in the works of Ken Binmore, which are brought together in this lovely book." Ariel Rubinstein , School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Department of Economics, New York University

"How to promote thinking on distributive justice? Education at the Kindergarten level is still the most effective way. However, for economists,philosophers and thinkers who are familiar with the formal arguments, I strongly recommend a course or seminar based on Moulin's superb book."—Ariel Rubinstein,School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Department of Economics, New York University

"*Does Game Theory Work?* My answer is, 'Of course not, and why should it?' But even a hardcore skeptic like me recognizes the charm and conviction in the works of Ken Binmore, which are brought together in this lovely book."—Ariel Rubinstein, School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, and Department of Economics,New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262026079
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2007
  • Series: Economic Learning and Social Evolution
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,533,867
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Binmore is Emeritus Professor at University College London. A Fellow of the Econometric Society and the British Academy, he is the author of Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 1: Playing Fair (1994) and Volume 2: Just Playing (1998), and the coeditor of Frontiers of Game Theory (1993), all three published by The MIT Press.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword     vii
Introduction     1
Getting to Equilibrium?     23
"Does Minimax Work? An Experimental Study"   Joe Swierzbinski   Chris Proulx     27
Which Equilibrium?     63
"Focal Points and Bargaining"   Joe Swierzbinski   Steven Hsu   Chris Proulx     67
The Ultimatum Game     103
"Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study"   Avner Shaked   John Sutton     113
Inequity Aversion?     119
"A Backward Induction Experiment"   John McCarthy   Giovanni Ponti   Larry Samuelson   Avner Shaked     123
Outside Options     165
"An Outside Option Experiment"   Avner Shaked   John Sutton     171
Forced Breakdown     189
"Do People Exploit Their Bargaining Power? An Experimental Study"   Peter Morgan   Avner Shaked   John Sutton     193
Lost Opportunities     223
"Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities"   Chris Proulx   Larry Samuelson   Joe Swierzbinski     227
Unequal Bargaining Power     251
"A Little Behavioralism Can Goa Long Way"   Joe Swierzbinski     257
More Ultimata     277
"Fairness or Gamesmanship in Bargaining: An Experimental Study"   John Sutton   Avner Shaked     279
Backward Induction?     303
"A Note on Backward Induction"     305
"Rationality and Backward Induction"     309
Equilibrium Selection in the Ultimatum Game     331
"Learning to be Imperfect: The Ultimatum Game"   John Gale   Larry Samuelson     333
Generalizing Rubinstein     369
"Bargaining Theory without Tears"     371
Notes to Chapter Introductory Remarks and Reprint Acknowledgments     391
Bibliography for Chapter Introductory Remarks     395
Index     401
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