Sequential Requests from Randomly Distributed Shared Resources

Amnon Rapoport, David V. Budescu, Ramzi Suleiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider a class of social dilemmas in which groups of size n are asked to share a common resource pool whose exact size, x, is not known. Rather, x is sampled randomly from a probability distribution which is common knowledge. Each group member requests a share of the common pool; requests are made sequentially with complete information about the preceding requests. Individual requests are granted if and only if the total group request is equal to or smaller than x. Experimental data show significant and consistent effects due to the player's position in the sequence and the amount of uncertainty about x. The results are used to test competitively two models-a subgame perfect equilibrium solution grounded in the logic of game theory and a modified equal share model based on the notion of focal points. On the average, the modified equal share model outperforms the equilibrium model in predicting the players' requests. Additional tests of the two models are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-265
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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