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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hot vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games


In experiments with two-person sequential games we analyze whether responses to favorable and unfavorable actions depend on the elicitation procedure. In our 'hot' treatment the second player responds to the first player's observed action while in our 'cold' treatment we follow the 'strategy method' and have the second player decide on a contingent action for each and every possible first player move, without first observing this move. Our analysis centers on the degree to which subjects deviate from the maximization of their pecuniary rewards, as a response to others' actions. Our results show no difference in behavior between the two treatments. We also find evidence of the stability of subjects' preferences with respect to their behavior over time and to the consistency of their choices as first and second mover.

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