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Adaptive play by idiosyncratic agents

  • Myatt, David P.
  • Wallace, Chris C.

Equilibrium selection in coordination games has generated a large literature. Kandori, Mailath and Rob (1993) and Young (1993) studied dynamic models of aggregate behaviour in which agents choose best responses to observations of population play. Crucially, infrequent mistakes (`mutations`) allow agents to take actions contrary to current trends and prevent initial configurations from determining long run play. An alternative approach is offered here: Harsanyian trembles are added to agents` payoffs so that with some probability it is optimal to act against the flow of play. The long run distribution of population behaviour is characterised - modes correspond to stable Bayesian Nash equilibria. Allowing the variance of payoff trembles to vanish, via a purification process, a single equilibrium is played almost always in the long run. Kandori et al and Young show that the number of contrarian actions required to escape an equilibrium determines selection; here, the likelihood that such actions are taken is of equal importance.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 48 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 124-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:48:y:2004:i:1:p:124-138
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Bergin, James & Lipman, Barton L, 1996. "Evolution with State-Dependent Mutations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 943-56, July.
  2. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 1997. "Muddling Through: Noisy Equilibrium Selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 235-265, June.
  4. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  5. Weibull, Jörgen W. & van Damme, Eric, 1998. "Evolution with Mutations Driven by Control Costs," Working Paper Series 501, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. 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, June.
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