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Robustness to incomplete information in repeated games


  • Takahashi, Satoru

    () (Department of Economics, Princeton University)

  • Chassang, Sylvain

    () (Department of Economics, Princeton University)


This paper extends the framework of Kajii and Morris (1997) to study the question of robustness to incomplete information in repeated games. We show that dynamically robust equilibria can be characterized using a one-shot robustness principle that extends the one-shot deviation principle. Using this result, we compute explicitly the set of dynamically robust equilibrium values in the repeated prisoners' dilemma. We show that robustness requirements have sharp intuitive implications regarding when cooperation can be sustained, what strategies are best suited to sustain cooperation, and how changes in payoffs affect the sustainability of cooperation. We also show that a folk theorem in dynamically robust equilibria holds, but requires stronger identifiability conditions than the pairwise full rank condition of Fudenberg, Levine and Maskin (1994).

Suggested Citation

  • Takahashi, Satoru & Chassang, Sylvain, 2011. "Robustness to incomplete information in repeated games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:795

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, David M. & Morris, Stephen & Pauzner, Ady, 2003. "Equilibrium selection in global games with strategic complementarities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-44, January.
    2. Jonathan Weinstein & Muhamet Yildiz, 2007. "A Structure Theorem for Rationalizability with Application to Robust Predictions of Refinements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 365-400, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hörner, Johannes & Lovo, Stefano & Tomala, Tristan, 2011. "Belief-free equilibria in games with incomplete information: Characterization and existence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1770-1795, September.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:122-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cy Maor & Eilon Solan, 2015. "Cooperation under incomplete information on the discount factors," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(2), pages 321-346, May.
    4. Chen, Yi-Chun & Takahashi, Satoru & Xiong, Siyang, 2014. "The robust selection of rationalizability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 448-475.
    5. Sugaya, Takuo & Takahashi, Satoru, 2013. "Coordination failure in repeated games with private monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(5), pages 1891-1928.
    6. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padró I Miquel, 2010. "Conflict and Deterrence Under Strategic Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1821-1858.
    7. Ronald Stauber, 2014. "A framework for robustness to ambiguity of higher-order beliefs," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(3), pages 525-550, August.
    8. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2013. "Folk Theorems, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Apr 2013.

    More about this item


    Robustness to incomplete information; one-shot robustness principle; repeated Prisoners' Dilemma; selective punishment; folk theorem;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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