Overcoming coordination failure using a mechanism based on gradualism and endogeneity

Yoshio Kamijo*, Hiroki Ozono, Kazumi Shimizu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We examine three tools that can enhance coordination success in a repeated multiple-choice coordination game. Gradualism means that the game starts as an easy coordination problem and moves gradually to a more difficult one. The Endogenous Ascending mechanism implies that a gradual increase in the upper bound of coordination occurs only if coordination with the Pareto superior equilibrium in a stage game is attained. The Endogenous Descending mechanism requires that when the game’s participants fail to coordinate, the level of the next coordination game be adjusted such that the game becomes simpler. We show that gradualism may not always work, but in such instances, its effect can be reinforced by endogeneity. Our laboratory experiment provides evidence that a mechanism that combines three tools, herein termed the “Gradualism with Endogenous Ascending and Descending (GEAD)” mechanism, works well. We discuss how the GEAD mechanism can be applied to real-life situations that suffer from coordination failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-217
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1


  • Coordination failure
  • Endogenous ascending
  • Endogenous descending
  • Gradualism
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Minimum effort coordination game
  • Target adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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