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DICE Research Seminar: "Spheres of Influence in Multigame Contact"


Christian Thöni (University of Lausanne)

will give a talk on               

Spheres of Influence in Multigame Contact

in the DICE research seminar.

Abstract: We study the effect of multigame contact in asymmetric social dilemma games.  Players simultaneously play two social dilemma games, either with the same partner (multigame contact), or with two different partners (single-game contact).  The asymmetry of the two games stems from the fact that one game is relatively more important to the one player, and the other game matters more for the other player.  Efficiency requires coordination on “spheres of influence”, with each player accepting a lower payoff in the game that is more valuable to the other player, in exchange for a higher benefit in the game most important to him.  In a series of experiments, we provide evidence that the existence  of spheres of influence equilibria enables subjects to realize the theorized efficiency gains offered by multigame contact.  These results stand in contrast to previous experimental studies on multigame contact, which failed to demonstrate the efficiency gains theoretically predicted by Bernheim and Whinston (1990). In additional treatments, we manipulate the environment to explore the robustness of the spheres of influence equilibria relative to the presence of alternative equilibria. Furthermore, we introduce a manipulation that nudges subjects towards playing spheres of influence. Provided sufficient learning opportunities, we conclude that spheres of influence equilibria are the predominant cooperative equilibrium played under multigame contact.

You can find Christian’s website here: https://people.unil.ch/christianthoeni/.

He will be available for individual meetings on the day of the seminar. Giulia and Yihan will coordinate the schedule. Please write them an email () if you want to reserve a slot.



21.11.2023, 14:15 Uhr - 15:30 Uhr
Ort: Oeconomicum (Gebäude 24.31), Raum S3/4