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On the structure of rationalizability for arbitrary spaces of uncertainty

  • Penta, Antonio


    (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Weinstein and Yildiz (Econometrica, 2007) have shown that only very weak predictions are robust to mispecifications of higher order beliefs. Whenever a type has multiple rationalizable actions, any of these actions is uniquely rationalizable for some arbitrarily close type. Hence, refinements of rationalizability are not robust. This negative result is obtained under a richness condition, which essentially means that all common knowledge assumptions on payoffs are relaxed. In many settings this condition entails an unnecessarily demanding robustness test. It is therefore natural to explore the structure of rationalizability when arbitrary common knowledge assumptions are relaxed (i.e., without assuming richness). For arbitrary spaces of uncertainty, and for every player i, I construct a set A_{i}^{∞} of actions that are uniquely rationalizable for some hierarchy of beliefs. The main result shows that for any type t_{i}, and any action a_{i} rationalizable for t_{i}, if a_{i} belongs to A_{i}^{∞} and is justified by conjectures concentrated on A_{-i}^{∞}, then there exists a sequence of types converging to t_{i} for which a_{i} is uniquely rationalizable. This result significantly generalizes Weinstein and Yildiz's. Some of its implications are discussed in the context of auctions, equilibrium refinements and in connection with the literature on global games.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:861
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  1. Battigalli Pierpaolo & Di Tillio Alfredo & Grillo Edoardo & Penta Antonio, 2011. "Interactive Epistemology and Solution Concepts for Games with Asymmetric Information," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-40, March.
  2. Chen, Yi-Chun, 2012. "A structure theorem for rationalizability in the normal form of dynamic games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 587-597.
  3. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Peski, Marcin, 2006. "Hierarchies of belief and interim rationalizability," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 19-65, March.
  4. D. B. Bernheim, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000381, David K. Levine.
  5. David M. Frankel & Stephen Morris & Ady Pauzner, 2001. "Equilibrium Selection in Global Games with Strategic Complementarities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1336, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. 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, 03.
  7. Antonio Penta, 2012. "Higher Order Uncertainty and Information: Static and Dynamic Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 631-660, 03.
  8. Morris, Stephen & Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew, 2007. "Interim Correlated Rationalizability," Scholarly Articles 3196333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Weinstein, Jonathan & Yildiz, Muhamet, 2011. "Sensitivity of equilibrium behavior to higher-order beliefs in nice games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 288-300, May.
  10. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
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