Leading to efficient coordination: Individual traits, beliefs and choices in the minimum effort game

Francesco Feri, Anita Gantner, Peter G. Moffatt, Dominik Erharter

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We consider data from an experiment on the minimum-effort game, repeated over many periods. In each play of the game, each player's belief about the minimum-effort of other players in the group is elicited, in addition to the player's chosen effort level. We find that many agents choose effort levels systematically exceeding their beliefs of others' effort levels. We explain this in terms of such subjects taking the role of “leader” in an attempt to pull the group towards more efficient outcomes. We find that the propensity for leaders to emerge depends on individual traits such as trustfulness and cognitive ability. Furthermore, moving to a superior equilibrium is more likely under certain design features such as conditions relating to the cost of effort and the amount of information available to players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-427
Number of pages25
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Early online date13 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Coordination
  • Learning in games
  • Heterogeneity
  • Experiments

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