Estimating Extensive Form Games in R

Brenton Kenkel, Curtis Signorino

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This article introduces new software, the games package, for estimating strategic statistical models in R. In these models, the probability distribution over outcomes corresponds to the equilibrium of an underlying game form. We review such models and provide derivations for one example, including discussion of alternative motivations for the stochastic component of the models. We introduce the basic functionality of the games package, such as how to estimate players’ utilities for outcomes as a function of covariates. The package implements maximum likelihood estimation for the most commonly used models of strategic choice, including three extensive form games and an ultimatum bargaining model. The software also includes functions for bootstrapping, plotting fitted values with their confidence intervals, performing non-nested model comparisons, and checking global convergence failures. We use the new software to replicate Leblang’s (2003) analysis of speculative currency attacks.

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