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Games of incomplete information without common knowledge priors

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  • Jozsef Sakovics

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Abstract

We relax the assumption that priors are common knowledge, in the standard model of games of incomplete information. We make the realistic assumption that the players are boundedly rational: they base their actions on finite-order belief hierarchies. When the different layers of beliefs are independent of each other, we can retain Harsányi’s type-space, and we can define straightforward generalizations of Bayesian Nash Equilibrium (BNE) and Rationalizability in our context. Since neither of these concepts is quite satisfactory, we propose a hybrid concept, Mirage Equilibrium, providing us with a practical tool to work with inconsistent belief hierarchies. When the different layers of beliefs are correlated, we must enlarge the type-space to include the parametric beliefs. This presents us with the difficulty of the inherent openness of finite belief subspaces. Appealing to bounded rationality once more, we posit that the players believe that their opponent holds a belief hierarchy one layer shorter than they do and we provide alternative generalizations of BNE and Rationalizability. Finally, we show that, when beliefs are degenerate point beliefs, the definition of Mirage Equilibrium coincides with that of the generalized BNE.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 77.

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Length: 15
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:77

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Keywords: inconsistent beliefs; games of incomplete information; finite belief hierarchy;

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  1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
  2. Morris, Stephen & Rob, Rafael & Shin, Hyun Song, 1995. "Dominance and Belief Potential," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 145-57, January.
  3. D. B. Bernheim, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Levine's Working Paper Archive 514, David K. Levine.
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  8. Rubinstein Ariel & Wolinsky Asher, 1994. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 299-311, March.
  9. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1993. "Experimental Results on Interactive Competitive Guessing," Discussion Paper Serie B 236, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
  11. Tan, Tommy Chin-Chiu & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1988. "The Bayesian foundations of solution concepts of games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 370-391, August.
  12. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1993. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1019-45, September.
  13. Brandenburger Adam & Dekel Eddie, 1993. "Hierarchies of Beliefs and Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 189-198, February.
  14. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1993. "Subjective Equilibrium in Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1231-40, September.
  15. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1991. "Information Mirages in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 463-93, October.
  16. Schmalensee, Richard, 1976. "An Experimental Study of Expectation Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 17-41, January.
  17. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Battigalli, Pierpaolo, 2003. "Rationalizability in infinite, dynamic games with incomplete information," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-38, March.

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