Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 1 > Issue 1–2

Generalized Impulse Balance: An Experimental Test for a Class of 3 × 3 Games

Thorsten Chmura, Business School, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, Sebastian J. Goerg, Department of Economics, Florida State University, USA, , Reinhard Selten, Department of Economics, University of Bonn, Germany
Suggested Citation
Thorsten Chmura, Sebastian J. Goerg and Reinhard Selten (2014), "Generalized Impulse Balance: An Experimental Test for a Class of 3 × 3 Games", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 1: No. 1–2, pp 27-53.

Publication Date: 15 Jan 2014
© 2014 T. Chmura, S. J. Goerg and R. Selten
Economic Theory,  Behavioral Decision Making
Impulse balanceNash equilibrium3 × 3 gamesStationary concepts


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Game Structure and Stationary Concepts 
3. Experimental Design 
4. Results 
5. Summary and Discussion 
A. Equilibria and Payoffs 
B. Instructions 


In this paper, we introduce a generalized version of impulse balance equilibrium. The stationary concept is applied to 3 × 3 games based on the Bailiff and Poacher Game (Selten, 1991) and its predictive success is experimentally tested against the one of Nash equilibrium. Experiments with 26 different games were conducted; 12 games with completely mixed Nash equilibria and 14 games with partially mixed Nash equilibria. In all the games, generalized impulse balance yields predictions that are closer to the data than the ones of Nash equilibrium. Overall, generalized impulse balance has a significantly higher predictive success than Nash equilibrium.