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Pure Saddle Points and Symmetric Relative Payoff Games

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  • Peter Duersch
  • Joerg Oechssler
  • Burkhard C. Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

It is well known that the rock-paper-scissors game has no pure saddle point. We show that this holds more generally: A symmetric two-player zero-sum game has a pure saddle point if and only if it is not a generalized rock-paper-scissors game. Moreover, we show that every finite symmetric quasiconcave two-player zero-sum game has a pure saddle point. Further sufficient conditions for existence are provided. We apply our theory to a rich collection of examples by noting that the class of symmetric two-player zero-sum games coincides with the class of relative payoff games associated with symmetric two-player games. This allows us to derive results on the existence of a finite population evolutionary stable strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2010. "Pure Saddle Points and Symmetric Relative Payoff Games," Working Papers 104, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:10-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2012. "Unbeatable imitation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 88-96.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    symmetric two-player games; zero-sum games; Rock-Paper-Scissors; single-peakedness; quasiconcavity; finite population evolutionary stable strategy; increasing differences; decreasing differences; potentials; additive separability;

    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

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