Overcoming coordination failure in games with focal points: An experimental investigation

Rojo Arjona, David, Sitzia, Stefania and Zheng, Jiwei (2022) Overcoming coordination failure in games with focal points: An experimental investigation. Games and Economic Behavior, 136. pp. 505-523. ISSN 0899-8256

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We experimentally test whether increasing the salience of payoff-irrelevant focal points (Schelling, 1960) can counteract the negative impact of conflicts of interest on coordination. The intuition is that, in the presence of conflict, the solution to the coordination dilemma offered by the focal point loses importance. Increasing its salience increases its relevance and, therefore, coordination success. When we vary label salience between subjects, we find support for this conjecture in games with a constant degree of conflict, similar to battle of the sexes games, but not in games that feature outcomes with different degrees of payoff inequality and efficiency. In an additional experiment in which we vary label salience within subjects, choices are found not to be affected by our salience manipulation. Yet, the proportion of choices consistent with the focal point is significantly greater than that in the between-subject design.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural Economics
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Environment, Resources and Conflict
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2022 09:31
Last Modified: 18 May 2023 19:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/89454
DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2022.10.010


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