Ethan Holdahl

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Irvine where I work with John Duffy on evolutionary economics experiments. My research is primarily concerned with evolutionary game theory and testing evolutionary dynamics in experimental settings. I completed my PhD at the University of Oregon in 2023 and am on the job market for the 2023-2024 cycle.

Job Market Paper

Testing the Efficacy of Stepping Stone Equilibria in Coordination Games

Games with multiple equilibria introduce the potential for populations to get stuck in inefficient outcomes. In theory, the introduction of additional equilibria, "stepping stones", could pave the way for a smoother and less risky transition. I run a lab experiment to test if the introduction of these “stepping stones”, can facilitate transitions from an inefficient but safe equilibrium to a risky, payoff dominant equilibrium. I employ different payoffs for the transition strategy and examine the effects that different degrees of information about the game have on group's play. I find evidence that adding these "stepping stones" does help populations transition to the efficient equilibria. I also find that when groups have more information about each other's payoffs they are able to transition to the efficient equilibria faster and are less prone to cyclical behavior.

Stepping Stones Games