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Open AccessArticle

A Choice Prediction Competition for Social Preferences in Simple Extensive Form Games: An Introduction

Agricultural Economics and Management, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Studies, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Department of Economics, 308 Littauer, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Harvard Business School, 441 Baker Library, Boston, MA 02163, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Games 2011, 2(3), 257-276;
Received: 14 March 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Predicting Behavior in Games)
PDF [671 KB, uploaded 25 July 2011]


Two independent, but related, choice prediction competitions are organized that focus on behavior in simple two-person extensive form games ( one focuses on predicting the choices of the first mover and the other on predicting the choices of the second mover. The competitions are based on an estimation experiment and a competition experiment. The two experiments use the same methods and subject pool, and examine games randomly selected from the same distribution. The current introductory paper presents the results of the estimation experiment, and clarifies the descriptive value of some baseline models. The best baseline model assumes that each choice is made based on one of several rules. The rules include: rational choice, level-1 reasoning, an attempt to maximize joint payoff, and an attempt to increase fairness. The probability of using the different rules is assumed to be stable over games. The estimated parameters imply that the most popular rule is rational choice; it is used in about half the cases. To participate in the competitions, researchers are asked to email the organizers models (implemented in computer programs) that read the incentive structure as input, and derive the predicted behavior as an output. The submission deadline is 1 December 2011, the results of the competition experiment will not be revealed until that date. The submitted models will be ranked based on their prediction error. The winners of the competitions will be invited to write a paper that describes their model. View Full-Text
Keywords: social preferences; fairness; reciprocity; social welfare; trust; altruism social preferences; fairness; reciprocity; social welfare; trust; altruism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ert, E.; Erev, I.; Roth, A.E. A Choice Prediction Competition for Social Preferences in Simple Extensive Form Games: An Introduction. Games 2011, 2, 257-276.

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