IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Stationary equilibria in stochastic games: structure, selection, and computation

Listed author(s):
  • Herings, P. Jean-Jacques
  • Peeters, Ronald J. A. P.

This paper is the first to introduce an algorithm to compute stationary equilibria in stochastic games, and shows convergence of the algorithm for almost all such games. Moreover, since in general the number of stationary equilibria is overwhelming, we pay attention to the issue of equilibrium selection. We do this by extending the linear tracing procedure to the class of stochastic games, called the stochastic tracing procedure. From a computational point of view, the class of stochastic games possesses substantial difficulties compared to normal form games. Apart from technical difficulties, there are also conceptual difficulties,, for instance the question how to extend the linear tracing procedure to the environment of stochastic games. We prove that there is a generic subclass of the class of stochastic games for which the stochastic tracing procedure is a compact one-dimensional piecewise differentiable manifold with boundary. Furthermore, we prove that the stochastic tracing procedure generates a unique path leading from any exogenously specified prior belief, to a stationary equilibrium. A well-chosen transformation of variables is used to formulate an everywhere differentiable homotopy function, whose zeros describe the (unique) path generated by the stochastic tracing procedure. Because of differentiability we are able to follow this path using standard path-following techniques. This yields a globally convergent algorithm that is easily and robustly implemented on a computer using existing software routines. As a by-product of our results, we extend a recent result on the generic finiteness of stationary equilibria in stochastic games to oddness of equilibria.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022-0531(04)00023-7
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 118 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 32-60

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:118:y:2004:i:1:p:32-60
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Mas-Colell,Andreu, 1990. "The Theory of General Economic Equilibrium," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521388702.
  2. von Stengel, B. & van den Elzen, A.H. & Talman, A.J.J., 1996. "Tracing equilibria in extensive games by complementary pivoting," Discussion Paper 1996-86, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  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, July.
  4. Herings P. Jean-Jacques & Peeters R., 1999. "A Differentiable Homotopy to Compute Nash Equilibria of n-Person Games," Research Memorandum 038, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  5. Judd, Kenneth L., 1997. "Computational economics and economic theory: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 907-942, June.
  6. Robert Wilson, 2010. "Computing Equilibria of n-person Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 402, David K. Levine.
  7. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-1149, September.
  8. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  9. Andrew McLennan, 2005. "The Expected Number of Nash Equilibria of a Normal Form Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 141-174, 01.
  10. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  11. Jean-Jacques Herings, P., 1997. "A globally and universally stable price adjustment process," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 163-193, March.
  12. Bernhard von Stengel & Antoon van den Elzen & Dolf Talman, 2002. "Computing Normal Form Perfect Equilibria for Extensive Two-Person Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 693-715, March.
  13. Herbert E. Scarf, 1967. "The Approximation of Fixed Points of a Continuous Mapping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 216R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & van den Elzen, Antoon, 2002. "Computation of the Nash Equilibrium Selected by the Tracing Procedure in N-Person Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 89-117, January.
  15. P. Jean-Jacques Herings, 2000. "Two simple proofs of the feasibility of the linear tracing procedure," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(2), pages 485-490.
  16. Pakes, Ariel & Ericson, Richard, 1998. "Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-45, March.
  17. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
  18. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
  19. Hans Haller & Roger Lagunoff, 2000. "Genericity and Markovian Behavior in Stochastic Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1231-1248, September.
  20. McKelvey, Richard D. & McLennan, Andrew, 1996. "Computation of equilibria in finite games," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-142 Elsevier.
  21. Breton, Michele & Haurie, Alain & Filar, Jerzy A., 1986. "On the computation of equilibria in discounted stochastic dynamic games," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 33-36, June.
  22. van den Elzen, Antoon & Talman, Dolf, 1999. "An Algorithmic Approach toward the Tracing Procedure for Bi-matrix Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 130-145, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:118:y:2004:i:1:p:32-60. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.