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Purification in the Infinitely-Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma

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Abstract

This paper investigates the Harsanyi-purifiability of mixed strategies in the repeated prisoners' dilemma with perfect monitoring. We perturb the game so that in each period, a player receives a private payoff shock which is independently and identically distributed across players and periods. We focus on the purifiability of a class of one-period memory mixed strategy equilibria used by Ely and Valimaki in their study of the repeated prisoners' dilemma with private monitoring. We find that the strategy profile is purifiable by perturbed-game finite-memory strategies if and only if it is strongly symmetric, in the sense that after every history, both players play the same mixed action. Thus "most" strategy profiles are not purifiable by finite memory strategies. However, if we allow infinite memory strategies in the perturbed game, then any completely-mixed equilibrium is purifiable.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d14b/d1451.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1451.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Dynamics (2008), 11: 515-528
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1451

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Keywords: Purification; Repeated Games; Belief-Free Equilibria; Imperfect Monitoring;

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  1. Bhaskar, V, 1998. "Informational Constraints and the Overlapping Generations Model: Folk and Anti-Folk Theorems," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 135-49, January.
  2. V. Bhaskar & G. J. Mailath & S. Morris, 2004. "Purification in the Infinitely-Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Discussion Papers 576, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. V. Bhaskar & Ichiro Obara, 2000. "Belief-Based Equilibria in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1330, Econometric Society.
  4. Michihiro Kandori & Ichiro Obara, 2004. "Efficiency in Repeated Games Revisited: The Role of Private Strategies," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000055, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Jeffrey C. Ely & Johannes Horner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2003. "Belief-free Equilibria in Repeated Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 666156000000000367, David K. Levine.
  6. Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 1997. "Efficiency in Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 345-361, October.
  7. Govindan, Srihari & Reny, Philip J. & Robson, Arthur J., 2003. "A short proof of Harsanyi's purification theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 369-374, November.
  8. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
  9. V. Bhaskar & Eric van Damme, 1998. "Moral Hazard and Private Monitoring," Game Theory and Information 9809004, EconWPA.
  10. Piccione, Michele, 2002. "The Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 70-83, January.
  11. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Valimaki, Juuso, 2002. "A Robust Folk Theorem for the Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 84-105, January.
  12. Stephen Morris, 2006. "Purification," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000470, UCLA Department of Economics.
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