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Department of Economics pres.

Social, Behavioral & Experimental Economics (SBEE): Expertise, Gender, and Equilibrium Play

John Wooders, Global Network Professor of Economics, NYUAD

Econ Umich Econ Umich
Econ Umich

Mixed strategy Nash equilibrium is the cornerstone of our understanding of strategic situations that require decision makers to be unpredictable. Using data from nearly half a million serves over 3000 tennis matches, and data on player rankings from the ATP and WTA, we examine whether the behavior of professional tennis players is consistent with equilibrium. We find that win rates conform remarkably closely to the theory for men, but conform somewhat less neatly for women. We show that the behavior in the field of more highly ranked (i.e., better) players conforms more closely to theory.

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