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Deterministic Approximation of Stochastic Evolution in Games

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  • Michel BenaÔm
  • J–rgen W. Weibull

Abstract

This paper provides deterministic approximation results for stochastic processes that arise when finite populations recurrently play finite games. The processes are Markov chains, and the approximation is defined in continuous time as a system of ordinary differential equations of the type studied in evolutionary game theory. We establish precise connections between the long-run behavior of the discrete stochastic process, for large populations, and its deterministic flow approximation. In particular, we provide probabilistic bounds on exit times from and visitation rates to neighborhoods of attractors to the deterministic flow. We sharpen these results in the special case of ergodic processes. Copyright Econometric Society, 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel BenaÔm & J–rgen W. Weibull, 2003. "Deterministic Approximation of Stochastic Evolution in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 873-903, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:71:y:2003:i:3:p:873-903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fudenberg Drew & Kreps David M., 1993. "Learning Mixed Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 320-367, July.
    2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
    3. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, December.
    6. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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