A choice prediction competition for social preferences in simple extensive form games: An introduction

Eyal Ert*, Ido Erev, Alvin E. Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Two independent, but related, choice prediction competitions are organized that focus on behavior in simple two-person extensive form games (http://sites.google.com/site/extformpredcomp/): one focuses on predicting the choices of the first mover and the other on predicting the choices of the second mover. The competitions are based on an estimation experiment and a competition experiment. The two experiments use the same methods and subject pool, and examine games randomly selected from the same distribution. The current introductory paper presents the results of the estimation experiment, and clarifies the descriptive value of some baseline models. The best baseline model assumes that each choice is made based on one of several rules. The rules include: rational choice, level-1 reasoning, an attempt to maximize joint payoff, and an attempt to increase fairness. The probability of using the different rules is assumed to be stable over games. The estimated parameters imply that the most popular rule is rational choice; it is used in about half the cases. To participate in the competitions, researchers are asked to email the organizers models (implemented in computer programs) that read the incentive structure as input, and derive the predicted behavior as an output. The submission deadline is 1 December 2011, the results of the competition experiment will not be revealed until that date. The submitted models will be ranked based on their prediction error. The winners of the competitions will be invited to write a paper that describes their model.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)257-276
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Altruism
  • Fairness
  • Reciprocity
  • Social preferences
  • Social welfare
  • Trust


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