Identifying types in contest experiments

Francesco Fallucchi, Andrea Mercatanti, Jan Niederreiter

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We apply the classifier-Lasso (Su et al., 2016) to detect the presence of latent types in two data sets of previous contest experiments, one that keeps the grouping of contestants fixed over the experiment and one that randomly regroups contestants after each round. Our results suggest that there exist three distinct types of players in both contest regimes. The majority of contestants in fixed groups behaves reciprocal to opponents’ previous choices. A higher share of reciprocators per group is associated to lower average overspending which hints at cooperative attempts. For experiments in which contestants are regrouped, we find a significantly lower share of ‘reciprocators’ and no significant association between the share of reciprocators and average efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-61
JournalInternational Journal of Game Theory
Early online date28 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Experimetrics
  • Behavioral types
  • Experiment
  • Contest
  • C-Lasso

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