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Switching Costs in Frequently Repeated Games

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  • Barton L. Lipman
  • Ruqu Wang

Abstract

We show that the standard results for finitely repeated games do not survive the combination of two simple variations on the usual model. In particular, we add a small cost of changing actions and consider the effect of increasing the frequency of repetitions within a fixed period of time. We show that this can yield multiple subgame perfect equilibria in games like the Prisoners' Dilemma which normally have a unique equilibrium. Also, it can yield uniqueness in games which normally have multiple equilibria. For example, in a two by two coordination game, if the Pareto dominant and risk dominant outcomes coincide, the unique subgame perfect equilibrium for small switching costs and frequent repetition is to repeat this outcome every period. Also, in a generic Battle of the Sexes game, there is a unique subgame perfect equilibrium for small switching costs.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1190.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1190

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  1. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine, 1987. "Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Games With a Patient Player," Working papers 461, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Prajit K. Dutta, 1997. "A Folk Theorem for Stochastic Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1000, David K. Levine.
  3. Carlsson, H. & Damme, E.E.C. van, 1993. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154416, Tilburg University.
  4. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  5. Padilla A. Jorge, 1995. "Revisiting Dynamic Duopoly with Consumer Switching Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 520-530, December.
  6. Frankel, David M. & Burdzy, Krzysztof & Pauzner, Ady, 2001. "Fast Equilibrium Selection by Rational Players Living in a Changing World," Staff General Research Papers 11923, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Gale, Douglas, 1995. "Dynamic Coordination Games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  8. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  9. P. Young, 1999. "The Evolution of Conventions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 485, David K. Levine.
  10. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsui, 1997. "Asynchronous Choice in Repeated Coordination Games," Game Theory and Information 9707002, EconWPA.
  11. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1985. "Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 905-22, July.
  12. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1988. "On Delay in Bargaining with One-Sided Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 601-11, May.
  13. Dutta Prajit K., 1995. "Collusion, Discounting and Dynamic Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 289-306, June.
  14. Chakrabarti, Subir K., 1990. "Characterizations of the equilibrium payoffs of inertia supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-183, June.
  15. Ruqu Wang & Quan Wen, 1998. "Strategic Invasion in Markets with Switching Costs," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 521-549, December.
  16. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsui, . ""An 'Anti-Folk Theorem' for a Class of Asynchronously Repeated Games''," CARESS Working Papres 95-15, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  17. Beggs, Alan & Klemperer, Paul, 1990. "Multi-Period Competition with Switching Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Dutta Prajit K., 1995. "A Folk Theorem for Stochastic Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-32, June.
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