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Abstract

We study extrapolation between games in a laboratory experiment. Participants in our experiment first play either the dominance solvable guessing game or a Coordination version of the guessing game for five rounds. Afterwards they play a 3x3 normal form game for ten rounds with random matching which is either a game solvable through iterated elimination of dominated strategies (IEDS), a pure Coordination game or a Coordination game with pareto ranked equilibria. We find strong evidence that participants do extrapolate between games. Playing a strategically different game hurts compared to the control treatment where no guessing game is played before and in fact impedes convergence to Nash equilibrium in both the 3x3 IEDS and the Coordination games. Playing a strategically similar game before leads to faster convergence to Nash equilibrium in the second game. In the Coordination games some participants try to use the first game as a Coordination device. Our design and results allow us to conclude that participants do not only learn about the population and/or successful actions, but that they are also able to learn structural properties of the games.

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