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Achievable outcomes of dynamic contribution games


  • Matthews, Steven A.

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)


This paper concerns multistage games, with and without discounting, in which each player can increase the level of an action over time so as to increase the other players' future payoffs. An action profile is said to be achievable if it is the limit point of a subgame perfect equilibrium path. Necessary conditions are derived for achievability under relatively general conditions. They imply that any efficient profile that is approximately achievable must be in the core of the underlying coalitional game. In some but not all games with discounting, the necessary conditions for achievability are also sufficient for a profile to be the limit of achievable profiles as the period length shrinks to zero. Consequently, in these games when the period length is very short, (i) the set of achievable profiles does not depend on the move structure; (ii) an efficient profile can be approximately achieved if and only if it is in the core; and (iii) any achievable profile can be achieved almost instantly.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthews, Steven A., 2013. "Achievable outcomes of dynamic contribution games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), May.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:1175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack & Vesterlund, Lise, 2007. "Giving little by little: Dynamic voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1708-1730, September.
    2. Yeon-Koo Che & József Sákovics, 2004. "A Dynamic Theory of Holdup," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1063-1103, July.
    3. Ochs, Jack & Park, In-Uck, 2010. "Overcoming the coordination problem: Dynamic formation of networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 689-720, March.
    4. Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas Palfrey, 2011. "The Free Rider Problem: a Dynamic Analysis," Working Papers 1354, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    5. Choi, Syngjoo & Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar, 2008. "Sequential equilibrium in monotone games: A theory-based analysis of experimental data," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 302-330, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2016. "The Dynamic Free Rider Problem: A Laboratory Study," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 268-308, November.
    2. Matros, Alexander & Smirnov, Vladimir, 2016. "Duplicative search," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-22.

    More about this item


    Dynamic games; monotone games; core; public goods; voluntary contribution; gradualism;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory


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