July 2010

IZA DP No. 5049: Strategic Sophistication of Adolescents: Evidence from Experimental Normal-Form Games

published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2016, 128, 265-285.

We examine the strategic sophistication of adolescents, aged 10 to 17 years, in experimental normal-form games. Besides making choices, subjects have to state their first- and second-order beliefs. We find that choices are more often a best reply to beliefs if any player has a dominant strategy and equilibrium payoffs are not too unequal. Using a mixture model we can estimate for each subject the probability to be any of eight different strategic and non-strategic types. The econometric estimation reveals that older subjects are more likely to eliminate dominated strategies, and that subjects with good math grades are more strategic.