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Cumbersome coordination in repeated games


  • Horst Raff

    () (Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA)

  • David Schmidt

    () (Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA)


This paper examines the role communication between players might serve in enabling them to reach an agreement on the future play of a repeated game. The property of the communication process that we focus on is the amount of time it takes to complete. We characterize the effects of such communication processes indirectly by determining the set of agreements they may yield. A weak and a strong criterion are introduced to describe sets of agreements that are "stable" in the sense that players would follow the current agreement and not seek to reach a new agreement. We show that as players become extremely patient, strongly stable sets converge to Pareto efficient singletons. We apply the stability criteria to Prisoner's Dilemmas and show how the unique strongly stable set reflects asymmetries in the players' stage-game payoffs. Finally, we model the communication process as a Rubinstein alternating-offer bargaining game and demonstrate that the resulting agreements help characterize the strongly stable set for a general class of communication mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Horst Raff & David Schmidt, 2000. "Cumbersome coordination in repeated games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 29(1), pages 101-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:29:y:2000:i:1:p:101-118
    Note: Received January 1998/final version June 1999

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    Cited by:

    1. Gagen, Michael, 2013. "Isomorphic Strategy Spaces in Game Theory," MPRA Paper 46176, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. David A. Miller & Joel Watson, 2013. "A Theory of Disagreement in Repeated Games With Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2303-2350, November.


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