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On equilibrium in pure strategies in games with many players

  • Edward Cartwright


  • Myrna Wooders


Motivated by issues of imitation, learning and evolution, we introduce a framework of non-co-operative games, allowing both countable sets of pure actions and player types and player types and demonstrate that for all games with sufficiently many players, every mixed strategy Nash equilibrium can be used to construct a Nash e-equilibrium in pure strategies that is 'e-equivalent'. Our framework introduces and exploits a distinction between crowding attributes of players (their external effects on others) and their taste attributes (their payoff functions and any other attributes that are not directly relevant to other players). The set of crowding attributes is assumed to be compact; this is not required, however, for taste attributes. We stress that for studying issues such as conformity, the case of a finite set of types and actions, while illuminating, cannot yield completely satisfactory results. Our main theorems are based on a new mathematical result, in the spirit of the Shapley-Folkman Theorem but applicable to a countable (not necessarily finite dimensional) strategy space.

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Article provided by Springer & Game Theory Society in its journal International Journal of Game Theory.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 137-153

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:137-153
DOI: 10.1007/s00182-008-0150-5
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  1. Kovalenkov, Alexander & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 2002. "Approximate Cores Of Games And Economies With Clubs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 634, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1984. "On a theorem of Schmeidler," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 201-206, December.
  3. Carmona, Guilherme, 2003. "On the Purification of Nash Equilibria of Large Games," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp436, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  4. Wooders, Myrna & Cartwright, Edward & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Behavioral conformity in games with many players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 347-360, November.
  5. Edward Cartwright & Myrna Wooders, 2003. "On Equilibrium in Pure Strategies in Games with Many Players," Working Papers 2003.122, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1994. "Equivalence of Games and Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1141-60, September.
  7. Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On the Existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1029-1056, September.
  8. Green, Edward J., 1982. "Continuum and Finite-Player Noncooperative Models of Competition," Working Papers 418, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Ehud Kalai, 2004. "Large Robust Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1631-1665, November.
  10. M Ali Khan & Kali P Rath & Yeneng Sun, 1994. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games with a Continuum of Players," Economics Working Paper Archive 381, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Feb 1997.
  11. Ehud Kalai, 2001. "Ex-Post Stability in Large Games," Discussion Papers 1351, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 1997. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Mario Rui Pascoa, 1998. "Nash equilibrium and the law of large numbers," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(1), pages 83-92.
  14. Cartwright, Edward & Wooders, Myrna, 2004. "On Purification Of Equilibrium In Bayesian Games And Ex-Post Nash Equilibrium," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 701, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. Wooders, Myrna & Edward Cartwright & Selten, Reinhard, 2002. "Social Conformity And Equilibrium In Pure Strategies In Games With Many Players," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 636, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  16. Edward Cartwright & Myrna Wooders, 2003. "Conformity and Bounded Rationality in Games with Many Players," Working Papers 2003.123, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  17. Martin W. Cripps & Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 2002. "Strategic Experimentation: The Case of Poisson Bandits," CESifo Working Paper Series 737, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Rui Pascoa, Mario, 1993. "Approximate equilibrium in pure strategies for non-atomic games," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 223-241.
  19. Anderson, Robert M., 1992. "The core in perfectly competitive economies," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 413-457 Elsevier.
  20. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
  21. Pascoa Mario Rui, 1993. "Noncooperative Equilibrium and Chamberlinian Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 335-353, August.
  22. Rath, Kali P. & Yeneng Sun & Shinji Yamashige, 1995. "The nonexistence of symmetric equilibria in anonymous games with compact action spaces," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 331-346.
  23. Rashid, Salim, 1983. "Equilibrium points of non-atomic games : Asymptotic results," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 7-10.
  24. Conley, John P. & Wooders, Myrna H., 1997. "Equivalence of the Core and Competitive Equilibrium in a Tiebout Economy with Crowding Types," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 421-440, May.
  25. Conley, John P. & Wooders, Myrna, 1996. "Taste-homogeneity of optimal jurisdictions in a Tiebout economy with crowding types and endogenous educational investment choices," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 367-387, December.
  26. Khan, M. Ali & Sun, Yeneng, 1999. "Non-cooperative games on hyperfinite Loeb spaces1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 455-492, May.
  27. Friedman, Daniel, 1996. "Equilibrium in Evolutionary Games: Some Experimental Results," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 1-25, January.
  28. Conley, John P. & Wooders, Myrna H., 2001. "Tiebout Economies with Differential Genetic Types and Endogenously Chosen Crowding Characteristics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 261-294, June.
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