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Stochastic strategy adjustment in coordination games


  • Michael Kosfeld

    () (Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Blümlisalpstrasse 10, 8006 Zürich, SWITZERLAND)


The paper explores a model of equilibrium selection in coordination games, where agents from an infinite population stochastically adjust their strategies to changes in their local environment. Instead of playing perturbed best-response, it is assumed that agents follow a rule of `switching to better strategies with higher probability'. This behavioral rule is related to bounded-rationality models of Rosenthal (1989) and Schlag (1998). Moreover, agents stay with their strategy in case they successfully coordinate with their local neighbors. Our main results show that both strict Nash equilibria of the coordination game correspond to invariant distributions of the process, hence evolution of play is not ergodic but instead depends on initial conditions. However, coordination on the risk-dominant equilibrium occurs with probability one whenever the initial fraction contains infinitely many agents, independent of the spatial distribution of these agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kosfeld, 2002. "Stochastic strategy adjustment in coordination games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 20(2), pages 321-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:20:y:2002:i:2:p:321-339 Note: Received: March 14, 2000; revised version: June 21, 2001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Weitzel, Utz, 2012. "Network structure and strategic investments: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 898-920.
    2. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    3. Kosfeld, Michael, 2002. "Why shops close again: An evolutionary perspective on the deregulation of shopping hours," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-72, January.
    4. Takács, Károly, 2010. "Hálózati kísérletek
      [Network experiments]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 958-979.
    5. Horst, Ulrich, 2010. "Dynamic systems of social interactions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 158-170, February.
    6. Michael Kosfeld, "undated". "Network Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 152, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    7. Steffen Huck & Michael Kosfeld, 2007. "The Dynamics of Neighbourhood Watch and Norm Enforcement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 270-286, January.
    8. Siegfried Berninghaus & Stephan Schosser & Bodo Vogt, 2015. "Myopic behavior and overall utility maximization - A study of linked hawks and doves -," FEMM Working Papers 150014, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    9. repec:spr:joecth:v:64:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0990-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Equilibrium selection; Coordination game; Evolution; Strategy adjustment.;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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