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Intrinsic correlation in games

  • Brandenburger, Adam
  • Friedenberg, Amanda

Correlations arise naturally in non-cooperative games, e.g., in the equivalence between undominated and optimal strategies in games with more than two players. But the non-cooperative assumption is that players do not coordinate their strategy choices, so where do these correlations come from? The epistemic view of games gives an answer. Under this view, the players' hierarchies of beliefs (beliefs, beliefs about beliefs, etc.) about the strategies played in the game are part of the description of a game. This gives a source of correlation: A player believes other players' strategy choices are correlated, because he believes their hierarchies of beliefs are correlated. We refer to this kind of correlation as "intrinsic," since it comes from variables--viz., the hierarchies of beliefs--that are part of the game. We compare the intrinsic route with the "extrinsic" route taken by Aumann [Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies, J. Math. Econ. 1 (1974) 76-96], which adds signals to the original game.

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

Volume (Year): 141 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 28-67

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:141:y:2008:i:1:p:28-67
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  1. R. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Bibliography 513, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Tan, Tommy Chin-Chiu & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1988. "The Bayesian foundations of solution concepts of games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 370-391, August.
  3. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Peski, Marcin, 2006. "Hierarchies of belief and interim rationalizability," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 19-65, March.
  4. KOHLBERG, Elon & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "On the strategic stability of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP 716, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  6. Leslie M. Marx & Jeroen M. Swinkels, 1996. "Order Independence for Iterated Weak Dominance," Discussion Papers 1066R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
  8. Aumann, Robert J., 1974. "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 67-96, March.
  9. Brandenburger, Adam & Dekel, Eddie, 1987. "Rationalizability and Correlated Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1391-1402, November.
  10. Pierpaolo Battigalli, . "Hierarchies of Conditional Beliefs and Interactive Epistemology in Dynamic Games," Working Papers 111, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Morris, Stephen & Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew, 2007. "Interim Correlated Rationalizability," Scholarly Articles 3196333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Battigalli Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi Marciano, 2003. "Rationalization and Incomplete Information," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-46, June.
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  14. D. Pearce, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 523, David K. Levine.
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