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An Introduction to Applicable Game Theory

  • Robert Gibbons

This paper offers an introduction to game theory for applied economists. The author gives simple definitions and intuitive examples of four kinds of games and their corresponding solution concepts: Nash equilibrium in static games of complete information; subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium in dynamic games of complete information; Bayesian Nash equilibrium in static games with incomplete (or 'private') information; and perfect Bayesian (or sequential) equilibrium in dynamic games with incomplete information. The main theme of the paper is that there are important differences among the games but important similarities among the solution concepts.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.1.127
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 127-149

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:127-49
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.1.127
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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, June.
  2. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  3. Peter Cramton & Joseph S. Tracy, 1992. "Strikes and Holdouts in Wage Bargaining: Theory and Data," Papers of Peter Cramton 92aer, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  4. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  5. Benabou, Roland & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-58, August.
  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
  7. Harsanyi, John C., 1994. "Games with Incomplete Information," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  8. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  9. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  10. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. H. Peyton Young, 1996. "The Economics of Convention," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 105-122, Spring.
  12. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
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