Economic Party Games is a board game played with phones. In most turns you commit to an action on your phone, then place it face down on the table. When everyone is ready, reveal your choices. You will need some paper or a spreadsheet(!) to keep score.
Below six different kinds of games are described which you can play with your family or friends but you are very much encouraged to remix and expand. The games are from the world of experimental/behavioral economics and explore ideas of cooperation and competition. Enjoy.
Low Bid Wins
Everyone places a bid. The lowest wins. Everyone else gets nothing.
Two people have been arrested. If they cooperate the police will not have enough evidence to convict. If one betrays the other then the betrayer goes free, but the other is convicted. If both betray each other then both are convicted. Do you cooperate?
Each player chooses how much of a common resource to use (think of farmers using common land). If everybody uses the maximum nobody gets anything (as the resource is depleted). If everyone chooses a moderate amount the best outcome for society is achieved. But if one person exploits the resource then they benefit.
How to split the pie? 10 points are on offer. One player chooses how much to offer the other player. The other player can accept, in which case the points are split, or reject, in which case nobody gets anything.
El Farol Bar
There is popular bar in Santa Fe. Everyone would rather to go there than stay at home as long as it isn't too crowded. But if it is crowded (if a majority of people go) then it would have been better to stay at home.
Two cars drive towards each other. Do you continue? If both players continue they get a very negative outcome. If one player backs down they pay a small cost in reputation and the other gains a small amount. If both players back down they both pay a small cost.