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Nash Equilibrium under Knightian Uncertainty: Breaking Down Backward Induction


  • Dow James
  • Werlang Sergio Ribeiro Da Costa


We present two alternative definitions of Nash equilibrium for two person games in the presence af uncertainty, in the sense of Knight. We use the formalization of uncertainty due to Schmeidler and Gilboa. We show that, with one of the definitions, prudent behaviour (maxmin) can be obtained as an outcome even when it is not rationalizable in the usual sense. Most striking is that with the Same definition we break down backward induction in the twice repeated prisoner's dilemma. We also link these results with the Kreps-Milgrom-Roberts-Wilson explanation of cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma.
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  • Dow James & Werlang Sergio Ribeiro Da Costa, 1994. "Nash Equilibrium under Knightian Uncertainty: Breaking Down Backward Induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 305-324, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:64:y:1994:i:2:p:305-324

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