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Lexicographic beliefs and assumption

Author

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  • Dekel, Eddie
  • Friedenberg, Amanda
  • Siniscalchi, Marciano

Abstract

Foundations for iterated admissibility (i.e., the iterated removal of weakly dominated strategies) need to confront a fundamental challenge. On the one hand, admissibility requires that a player consider every strategy of their opponents possible. On the other hand, reasoning that the opponents are rational requires ruling out certain strategies. Brandenburger, Friedenberg, Keisler's (BFK, Econometrica, 2008) foundations for iterated admissibility address this challenge with two ingredients: lexicographic beliefs and the concept of “assumption.” However, BFK restrict attention to lexicographic beliefs whose supports are essentially disjoint. This restriction does not have a compelling behavioral rationale, or a clear intuitive interpretation. At the same time, it plays a crucial role in BFK's foundations for iterated admissibility—specifically, in their analysis of assumption. We provide an alternate characterization of assumption, which applies to all lexicographic beliefs. We also characterize two variants of assumption, based on two extensions of ‘weak dominance’ to infinite state spaces. These notions of assumption coincide with BFK's notion when the state space is finite and lexicographic beliefs have disjoint support; but they are different in more general settings. Leveraging these characterization results, we show that disjoint supports do not play a role in the foundations for iterated admissibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Dekel, Eddie & Friedenberg, Amanda & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2016. "Lexicographic beliefs and assumption," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 955-985.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:163:y:2016:i:c:p:955-985
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2016.03.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blume, Lawrence & Brandenburger, Adam & Dekel, Eddie, 1991. "Lexicographic Probabilities and Equilibrium Refinements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 81-98, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georgios Gerasimou, 2014. "Dominance Solvable Games with Multiple Payoff Criteria," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201406, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 22 Jan 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Weak dominance; Weak dominance in infinite games; Iterated admissibility; Lexicographic probability systems; Assumption; Epistemic game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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