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A New Theory of Equilibrium Selection for Games with Incomplete Information


  • Harsanyi John C.


This paper proposes a new one-point solution concept for noncooperative games, based on a new theory of equilibrium selection. It suggests a mathematical model for measuring the strength of the incentive each player has to use any particular strategy, and then for using these incentive measures to estimate the theoretical probability for any given Nash equilibrium to emerge as the outcome of the game. The solution of the game is then defined as the Nash equilibrium with the highest theoretical probability when this equilibrium is unique. The problems posed by nonuniqueness are also discussed. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: C7, C71.
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Suggested Citation

  • Harsanyi John C., 1995. "A New Theory of Equilibrium Selection for Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 318-332, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:10:y:1995:i:2:p:318-332

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Van Damme, Eric & Selten, Reinhard & Winter, Eyal, 1990. "Alternating bid bargaining with a smallest money unit," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 188-201, June.
    3. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
    4. Kreps, David M., 1990. "Game Theory and Economic Modelling," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283812, June.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
    6. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-1050, July.
    7. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1007-1028, July.
    8. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    9. Aumann, Robert J., 1974. "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 67-96, March.
    10. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-1037, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games


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