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An Evolutionary Interpretation Of Mixed-Strategy Equilibria

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  • Joerg Oechssler

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

One of the more convincing interpretations of mixed strategy equilibria describes a mixed equilibrium as a steady state in a large population in which all players use pure strategies but the population as a whole mimics a mixed strategy. To be complete, however, this interpretation requires a good story about how the population arrives at the appropriate distribution over pure strategies. In this paper I attempt to give an explanation based on an evolutionary, stochastic learning process. Convergence properties of these processes have been studied extensively but almost exclusively for the case of convergence to pure Nash equilibria. Here I study the conditions under which an evolutionary process converges to population mixed-strategy equilibria. I find that not all mixed equilibria can be justified as the result of the evolutionary learning process even if the equilibrium is unique. For symmetric 2x2 and 3x3 games I give necessary and sufficient conditions for convergence and for n*n games I give a sufficient condition. For cases in which the conditions are not satisfied counterexamples are given, in which the process enters a limit cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9404001.

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Date of creation: 07 Apr 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9404001

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References

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  1. Jordan J. S., 1993. "Three Problems in Learning Mixed-Strategy Nash Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 368-386, July.
  2. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  3. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  4. J Bergin & B L Lipman, 1997. "Evolution with state-dependent Mutations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 771, David K. Levine.
  5. M. Kandori & R. Rob, 2010. "Evolution of Equilibria in the Long Run: A General Theory and Applications," Levine's Working Paper Archive 502, David K. Levine.
  6. Crawford, Vincent P., 1985. "Learning behavior and mixed-strategy Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 69-78, March.
  7. Drew Fudenberg & David Kreps, 2010. "Learning Mixed Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 415, David K. Levine.
  8. Ritzberger, Klaus & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1995. "Evolutionary Selection in Normal-Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1371-99, November.
  9. Robson, Arthur J. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 1996. "Efficient Equilibrium Selection in Evolutionary Games with Random Matching," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 65-92, July.
  10. Ariel Rubinstein, 1988. "Comments on the interpretation of game theory (Now published in Econometrica, 59 (1991), pp.909-924.)," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 181, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  11. Joerg Oechssler, 1993. "Competition among Conventions," Game Theory and Information 9312001, EconWPA, revised 04 Dec 1993.
  12. Oechssler, Jorg, 1997. "Decentralization and the coordination problem," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 119-135, January.
  13. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391, David K. Levine.
  14. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  15. repec:fth:coluec:607 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Rosenthal, R W, 1979. "Sequences of Games with Varying Opponents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1353-66, November.
  18. repec:att:wimass:9122 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. DeMichelis, S. & Germano, F., 2000. "On Knots and Dynamics in Games," Papers 2-2000, Tel Aviv.
  2. Marie-Laure Cabon-Dhersin & Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2013. "Wording and gender effects in a Game of Chicken. An explorative experimental study," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00796708, HAL.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00741973 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Oechssler, Jorg, 1997. "Decentralization and the coordination problem," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 119-135, January.
  5. Jorg Oechssler & Karl Schlag, 1997. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Bagwell's Example," Game Theory and Information 9704001, EconWPA, revised 11 Apr 1997.
  6. Schlag, Karl H. & Jörg Oechsler, 1997. "Loss of Commitment? An Evolutionary Analysis of Bagwell's Example," Discussion Paper Serie B 410, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Thomas Norman, 2010. "Cycles versus equilibrium in evolutionary games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(2), pages 167-182, August.
  8. DeMichelis, Stefano & Germano, Fabrizio, 2000. "On the Indices of Zeros of Nash Fields," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 192-217, October.
  9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00796708 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Carlos Alós-Ferrer, 2000. "Finite Population Dynamics and Mixed Equilibria," Vienna Economics Papers 0008, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  11. Demichelis, Stefano & Germano, Fabrizio, 2002. "On (un)knots and dynamics in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 46-60, October.

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