Edgar Allan Poe's riddle: Framing effects in repeated matching pennies games

Kfir Eliaz, Ariel Rubinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Framing effects have a significant influence on the finitely repeated matching pennies game. The combination of being labelled "a guesser," and having the objective of matching the opponent's action, appears to be advantageous. We find that being a player who aims to match the opponent's action is advantageous irrespective of whether the player moves first or second. We examine alternative explanations for our results and relate them to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Purloined Letter." We propose a behavioral model which generates the observed asymmetry in the players' performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


FundersFunder number
Center for Experimental Social Science at New York University


    • Edgar Allan Poe
    • Even and odd
    • Framing effects
    • Matching pennies


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