Special Issue "Laboratory Experimental Testing of Political Science Models"

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A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kenneth C. Williams (Website)

Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: political behavior; political institutions; elections

Special Issue Information

Laboratory experiments allow for the testing of decision making models by making it possible to observe human behavior within a controlled environment where a model's variables can be isolated and measured. This method is particularly useful to generate data for models that take an axiomatic approach since in many instances no relevant field data are available to test the parameters of the model. In economics this method to produce data testing axiomatic models has approached mainstream status as evident by the latest two Nobel laureates in economics, Elinor Ostrom and Alvin Roth, who both used laboratory experiments in their research. This special issue explores laboratory experiments that examine political science models. These articles show the importance of this methodology in providing data and useful insights for political science questions.

Prof. Dr. Kenneth C. Williams
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections. For further details see here.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Examining Monotonicity and Saliency Using Level-k Reasoning in a Voting Game
Games 2014, 5(1), 26-52; doi:10.3390/g5010026
Received: 8 November 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
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Abstract
This paper presents an experiment that evaluates the effect of financial incentives and complexity in political science voting experiments. To evaluate the effect of complexity we adopt a level-k reasoning model concept. This model by Nagel [1] postulates that players might [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experiment that evaluates the effect of financial incentives and complexity in political science voting experiments. To evaluate the effect of complexity we adopt a level-k reasoning model concept. This model by Nagel [1] postulates that players might be of different types, each corresponding to the level of reasoning in which they engage. Furthermore, to postulate the effect of financial incentives on subjects’ choice, we used the Quantal Response Equilibrium (QRE) concept. In a QRE, players’ decisions are noisy, with the probability of playing a given strategy increasing in its expected payoff. Hence, the choice probability is a function of the magnitude of the financial incentives. Our results show that low complexity promotes the highest degree of level-k strategic reasoning in every payment treatment. Standard financial incentives are enough to induce equilibrium behavior, and the marginal effect of extra incentives on equilibrium behavior seems to be negligible. High complexity, instead, decreases the rate of convergence to equilibrium play. With a sufficiently high complexity, increasing payoff amounts does promote more strategic behavior in a significant manner. Our results show with complex voting games, higher financial incentives are required for the subjects to exert the effort needed to complete the task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laboratory Experimental Testing of Political Science Models)
Open AccessArticle Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study
Games 2013, 4(4), 624-647; doi:10.3390/g4040624
Received: 23 August 2013 / Revised: 17 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We study strategic voting in a setting where voters choose from three options and Condorcet cycles may occur. We introduce in the electorate heterogeneity in preference intensity by allowing voters to differ in the extent to which they value the three options. [...] Read more.
We study strategic voting in a setting where voters choose from three options and Condorcet cycles may occur. We introduce in the electorate heterogeneity in preference intensity by allowing voters to differ in the extent to which they value the three options. Three information conditions are tested: uninformed, in which voters know only their own preference ordering and the own benefits from each option; aggregate information, in which in addition they know the aggregate realized distribution of the preference orderings and full information, in which they also know how the relative importance attributed to the options are distributed within the electorate. As a general result, heterogeneity seems to decrease the level of strategic voting in our experiment compared to the homogenous preference case that we study in a companion paper. Both theoretically and empirically (with data collected in a laboratory experiment), the main comparative static results obtained for the homogenous case carry over to the present setting with preference heterogeneity. Moreover, information about the realized aggregate distribution of preferences seems to be the element that best explains observed differences in voting behavior. Additional information about the realized distribution of preference intensity does not yield significant further changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laboratory Experimental Testing of Political Science Models)
Open AccessArticle An Experimental Analysis of Asymmetric Power in Conflict Bargaining
Games 2013, 4(3), 375-397; doi:10.3390/g4030375
Received: 12 June 2013 / Revised: 9 July 2013 / Accepted: 24 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demands and concessions in a multi-stage bargaining process are shaped by the probabilities that each side will prevail in an impasse. Standard game-theoretic predictions are quite sharp: demands are pushed to the precipice with nothing left on the table, but there is [...] Read more.
Demands and concessions in a multi-stage bargaining process are shaped by the probabilities that each side will prevail in an impasse. Standard game-theoretic predictions are quite sharp: demands are pushed to the precipice with nothing left on the table, but there is no conflict regardless of the degree of power asymmetry. Indeed, there is no delay in reaching an agreement that incorporates the (unrealized) costs of delay and conflict. A laboratory experiment has been used to investigate the effects of power asymmetries on conflict rates in a two-stage bargaining game that is (if necessary) followed by conflict with a random outcome. Observed demands at each stage are significantly correlated with power, as measured by the probability of winning in the event of disagreement. Demand patterns, however, are flatter than theoretical predictions, and conflict occurs in a significant proportion of the interactions, regardless of the degree of the power asymmetry. To address these deviations from the standard game-theoretic predictions, we also estimated a logit quantal response model, which generated the qualitative patterns that are observed in the data. This one-parameter generalization of the Nash equilibrium permits a deconstruction of the strategic incentives that cause demands to be less responsive to power asymmetries than Nash predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laboratory Experimental Testing of Political Science Models)

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