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The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics

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The Tennis Coach Problem: A Game-Theoretic and Experimental Study

Ayala Arad1

1Tel Aviv University,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics. Volume 12, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1704, DOI: 10.1515/1935-1704.1738, April 2012

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The paper introduces a new allocation game, related to Blotto games: each tennis coach assigns his four different skilled players to four positions, and then each team plays all other teams in the tournament. The winning team is the one with the highest total score.The set of equilibria is characterized and experimental behavior in variants of the game is analyzed in light of an adapted level-k model which is based on an appealing specification of the starting point (Level-0). The results exhibit a systematic pattern- a majority of the subjects used a small number of strategies. However, although level-k thinking is naturally specified in this context, only a limited use of (low) level-k thinking was found. These findings differ from those obtained in previous studies, which found high frequencies of level-k reasoning among subjects in various games. Thus, the results illuminate some bounds of the level-k approach.

Keywords: level-k thinking; tennis coach problem; experimental game theory; colonel Blotto

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