Agent Heterogeneity and Facility Congestion
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This paper extends Selten et al.’s (Games Econ Behav 58:394–406, 2007) laboratory experiment of an agent’s choice behavior by offering eight subjects a choice between one of two facilities that provide an identical service. We assume that the cost of using these facilities depends on their congestion level and that there are two types of agents with different congestion costs: high- and low-cost agents. High-cost agents are affected by congestion more severely than low-cost agents. The theory of congestion games predicts that cost heterogeneity will not affect the facility choices of agents. We obtain experimental results that support this theoretical prediction, namely that cost heterogeneity influences neither the facility choices of agents nor the congestion levels of facilities. By using data derived from the laboratory experiment, we then develop state-action tables and computationally simulate the facility choices of subjects. We find that a subject decides whether he or she remains in the same facility or moves to the other facility in the next period according to the current congestion level.
KeywordsCongestion games Cost heterogeneity Facility choice State-action table
This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan under Collaboration with Local Communities Project for Private Universities starting 2005, and a Promotion Project for Joint Research between the Humanities and Social Science starting 2008.
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