Games With Coupled Populations: An Experiment in Continuous Time

55 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2018 Last revised: 6 Nov 2019

See all articles by Volker Benndorf

Volker Benndorf

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE)

Ismael Martinez

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE)

Hans-Theo Normann

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: November 2019

Abstract

We propose a model of coupled population games where intra- and intergroup interactions overlap. We analyze the general class of symmetric 2x2 games with coupled replicator dynamics. Standard one- and two-population predictions extend to a total of ten regions with different sets of attractors, among them novel hybrid points where one population randomizes and the other plays a pure strategy. Building on the theoretical analysis, we run continuous-time laboratory experiments using 48 different variants of coupled games. Observations confirm the theory to a large extent, but we also find a number of systematic deviations. When the attractors' eigenvalues are smaller (in absolute terms), play converges to steady states located further from the prediction.

Keywords: equilibrium selection, population games, continuous-time experiment

JEL Classification: C62, C72, C73, C92

Suggested Citation

Benndorf, Volker and Martinez, Ismael and Normann, Hans-Theo, Games With Coupled Populations: An Experiment in Continuous Time (November 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3272936

Volker Benndorf

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany

Ismael Martinez

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany

Hans-Theo Normann (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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