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An Approach to Equilibrium Selection

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  • Akihiko Matsui
  • Kiminori Matsuyama

Abstract

We consider equilibrium selection in 2x2 bimatrix (both symmetric and asymmetric) games with two strict Nash equilibria by embedding it in a dynamic random matching game played by a continuum of anonymous agents. Unlike in the evolutionary game literature, we assume that the players are rational, seeking to maximize the expected discounted payoffs; but they are instead restricted to make a short run commitment when choosing actions. Modeling the friction this way yields the equilibrium dynamics, whose stationary states correspond to the Nash outcomes of the original game. Our selection is based on differential stability properties of the stationary states. It is shown that, as friction becomes arbitrarily small, a strict Nash outcome becomes uniquely absorbing and globally accessible if and only if it satisfies the Harsanyi and Selton (1988) notion of risk-dominance criterion. Our approach thus supplies another support for risk-dominance in addition to those given in literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1065.

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Date of creation: Nov 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1065

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Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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Keywords: Equilibrium Selection; Random Matching Games; Risk-dominance;

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  1. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
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  8. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1991. "Custom Versus Fashion: Hysteresis and Limit Cycles in a Random Matching Game," Discussion Papers 940, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fudenberg, Drew & Harris, Christopher, 1992. "Evolutionary Dynamics with Aggregate Shocks," IDEI Working Papers 13, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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  25. Matsui, Akihiko, 1992. "Best response dynamics and socially stable strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-362, August.
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