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


Humanity's Fundamental Environmental Limits

Seth Binder, Ethan Holdahl, Ly Trinh, and John H. Smith

Binder, S., Holdahl, E., Trinh, L., & Smith, J. H. (2020). Humanity’s Fundamental Environmental Limits. Human Ecology, 48(2), 235-244. DOI:10.1007/s10745-020-00140-w

Working Papers

Conflicts, Assortative Matching, and the Evolution of Signaling Norms

with Jiabin Wu

Under R&R at Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination

Convergence to a Convention in a 2x2 Coordination Game with Adaptive Learning

Works in Progress

Mistake Driven Cycles

with Jiabin Wu

Institutional Screening and the Demise of Cooperation

with Jiabin Wu