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Linking Strategic Interaction and Bargaining Theory: The Harsanyi-Schelling Debate on the Axiom of Symmetry

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  • Alessandro Innocenti

Abstract

This paper analyzes the early contributions of John Harsanyi and Thomas C. Schelling to bargaining theory. In the 1950s, Harsanyi draws Nash's solution to two-person cooperative games from the bargaining model proposed by Zeuthen (1930), and Schelling proposes a multifaceted theory of conflict that, without dismissing the assumption of rational behavior, points out some of its paradoxical consequences. Harsanyi's and Schelling's contrasting views on the axiom of symmetry, as postulated by Nash (1950), are then presented. This debate explains why, although in the early 1960s two different approaches to link strategic interaction and bargaining theory were proposed, only Harsanyi's insights were fully developed later.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Innocenti, 2008. "Linking Strategic Interaction and Bargaining Theory: The Harsanyi-Schelling Debate on the Axiom of Symmetry," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 111-132, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:40:y:2008:i:1:p:111-132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pope, Devin G. & Pope, Jaren C. & Sydnor, Justin R., 2015. "Focal points and bargaining in housing markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 89-107.
    2. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2010. "Non-cooperative games with chained confirmed proposals," TSE Working Papers 10-192, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Innocenti, Alessandro, 2010. "How a psychologist informed economics: The case of Sidney Siegel," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 421-434, June.
    4. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," TSE Working Papers 11-274, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Correa Romar, 2014. "Mathematical Foci," Mathematical Economics Letters, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1-2), pages 1-7, August.
    6. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," LERNA Working Papers 11.23.357, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    7. Bolton, Gary E. & Karagözoğlu, Emin, 2016. "On the influence of hard leverage in a soft leverage bargaining game: The importance of credible claims," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 164-179.
    8. Alessandro Innocenti, 2008. "How can a psychologist inform economics? The strange case of Sidney Siegel," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0808, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    John Harsanyi; Thomas C. Schelling; axiom of symmetry;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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