Re: poly: How to buy shared secrets cheap

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Feb 27 1998 - 14:25:47 PST

Hal writes:
>> The problem is, it doesn't seem to actually work.
>It's not clear that it has been tried in exactly this form.
>A problem is to make the offer of the large sums be credible.
>There may also be a problem in Robin's scheme with time discounts.

I don't think either of these are serious problems.
The serious problem is that experiments show people deviating from
standard game theory predictions in similar games.

The "centipede" game is a famous example, where people alternate
getting a chance to grab a pot, and the pot doubles if no one
grabs it, up to a known last round. Standard game theory says
you grab it first chance you get. But people actually wait a bit.
The don't wait till the end, and they wait less the more they play.
Noisy game theories have done well explaining this behavior, and
you'd want to use such theories to design the best variation on
my proposal. I haven't tried that, though I know how.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Fri Feb 27 22:30:26 1998

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