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On the Inconsistency of Equilibrium Refinement

  • Werner Güth

Consistency and optimality together with converse consistency provide an illuminating and novel characterization of the equilibrium concept (Peleg and Tijs, 1996). But (together with non-emptiness) they preclude refinements of the equilibrium notion and selection of a unique equilibrium (Norde et al., 1996). We suggest two escape routes: By generalizing the concept of strict equilibrium we question the practical relevance of the existence requirement for refinements. To allow for equilibrium selection we suggest more complex reduced games which capture the inclinations of „players who already left“.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1024194725086
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 53 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 371-392

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:53:y:2002:i:4:p:371-392
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  1. Reinhard Selten, 1974. "Reexamination of the Perfectness Concept for Equilibrium Points in Extensive Games," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 023, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  2. Werner GÜTH & Georg KIRCHSTEIGER & Klaus RITZBERGER, 1995. "Imperfectly Observable Commitments in n-Player Games," Vienna Economics Papers vie9507, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  3. Basu, K. & Weibull, J.W., 1990. "Strategy Subsets Closed Under Rational Behaviour," Papers 479, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Selten, Reinhard, 1995. "An axiomatic theory of a risk dominance measure for bipolar games with linear incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 213-263.
  5. Dufwenberg, M. & Norde, H.W. & Reijnierse, J.H. & Tijs, S.H., 2001. "The consistency principle for set-valued solutions and a new direction for normative game theory," Other publications TiSEM a92b40c8-7807-47db-8abd-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Harsanyi, John C, 1995. "Games with Incomplete Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 291-303, June.
  7. Harsanyi, John C., 1995. "A new theory of equilibrium selection for games with complete information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 91-122.
  8. 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.
  9. Lensberg, Terje, 1988. "Stability and the Nash solution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 330-341, August.
  10. Sadanand, Asha & Sadanand, Venkatraman, 1996. "Firm Scale and the Endogenous Timing of Entry: a Choice between Commitment and Flexibility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 516-530, August.
  11. Peleg, B. & Tijs, S.H., 1993. "The consistency principle for games in strategic form," Discussion Paper 1993-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Thomson, A., 1989. "The Consistency Principle," RCER Working Papers 192, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. van Damme, Eric, 1998. "On the State of the Art in Game Theory: An Interview with Robert Aumann," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 181-210, July.
  14. Norde, H.W. & Potters, J.A.M. & Reijnierse, J.H. & Vermeulen, D., 1996. "Equilibrium selection and consistency," Other publications TiSEM a5c0103f-677a-4352-8bd1-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  15. Aumann, Robert & Brandenburger, Adam, 1995. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1161-80, September.
  16. Kyle Bagwell, 1992. "Commitment and Observability in Games," Discussion Papers 1014, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  18. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  19. Spencer, Barbara J. & Brander, James A., 1992. "Pre-commitment and flexibility : Applications to oligopoly theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1601-1626, December.
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