When two players compete for a prize, they sometimes try to act as quickly as possible. At other times, they wait and see if the other person chooses to flee first. We study this interaction in the context of a dynamic fight-or-flight game. At each moment, a player can decide to wait, flee or fight. Players are privately informed about their strengths, which in case of a battle determine who wins the prize. In the case that one player flees and manages to escape, the other player earns the prize plus a “chase-away value”. We show that the chase-away value determines if fights occur immediately or only after a waiting period. In cases where the chase-away value is positive but not too large, players can use time to learn something about the type of the opponent, as the weaker players may find it advantageous to flee earlier in the game. Weaker players thereby avoid the risk of ending up in a fight. We derive conditions under which this is the case, and test this experimentally in the lab. Our findings support the idea that endogenous timing can reduce the likelihood of a fight compared to a static version of the game (where players decide simultaneously whether to fight or flee). We also observe many fights early on in the game, even if strong players would benefit from waiting.
Emanuel Vespa is an experimental economist who studies behavior in economic environments using laboratory data. Most of his research is on dynamic games and on contingent thinking. Emanuel joined the faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara after earning his Ph.D. from New York University in 2012. He is currently visiting Stanford University for the academic year.
Joshua B. Miller’s research combines both theory and experiments. He has written papers on blame, accountability, and the perception of social risk. Recently he has been working on projects relating to probabilistic and causal beliefs, and how they are reflected in individual decision making, games, and markets. Joshua earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2009. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Attila Ambrus is a Professor of Economics at Duke University, and a Research Economist at the NBER. His research spans across topics in microeconomic theory, game theory, experimental economics, political economy and development economics, and include bargaining, strategic communication and delegation, group decision-making, coalition formation, and risk-sharing arrangements on social networks. Dr. Ambrus serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Theory, the International Journal of Game Theory, and the Review of Economic Design. He received his Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University, and his B.A. at the Budapest University of Economics.
On Thursday, 7th May, 2015, 12:30pm, Elizabeth Schotter, Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychology at UC San Diego, will present a talk on her paper “Eye Tracking Methods for the Behavioral Scientist.” Here’s an abstract.
Her research primarily focuses on the coordination of visual perception and cognitive processing when people read, speak or make decisions. The seminar will take place in NYU Economics Department, Room 517.
On Thursday, 30th April, 2015, 12:30pm, John Kagel, Professor at Ohio State University, will present a talk on his paper “Team vs Individual play in finitely repeated prisoner dilemma games.”
Professor Kagel’s research interests currently focus on group decision making and learning in strategic interactions between agents, auction design and performance, industrial organization issues, and legislative bargaining. He has won outstanding research awards at the University of Pittsburgh and Ohio State University.
On Thursday, 16th April, 2015, 12:30pm, Marina Agranov, Assistant Professor at Caltech will present a talk on the paper “Commitment and (In)Efficiency: a Bargaining Experiment,” joint with Matt Elliott also from Caltech.
Marina Agranov, who is trained both as an economic theorist and an experimentalist, studies how communication affects outcomes in various strategic environments. She combines theory and experiments to study how institutions affect credible transmission of information.
On Thursday, 2nd April, 2015, 12:30pm, Dorothea Kubler, Professor at WZB Berlin Social Science Center will present a talk on the paper “College Admissions with Entrance Exams: Centralized versus Decentralized.”
Her research interests are in the areas of experimental economics, economics and psychology, as well as applied microeconomics such as industrial organization, labour contracts and law and economics.
On Thursday, 26th March, 2015, 12:30pm, Georg Weizsacker, professor at Humboldt-University of Berlin will present a talk on the paper “Markets for leaked information,” joint with Steffen Huck, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
Prof. Georg is the Deputy Chairman of Deutches Institut fur Wirtschaftforschung (DIW Berlin). His research interests include experimental economics, financial decision-making, game theory, decision theory, and microeconomics.
On Thursday, 5th March, 2015, 12:30pm, Ariel Rubenstein, professor at New York University will present a seminar on the topic “A Typology of Players: between Instinctive and Contemplative.”