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Prudent Rationalizability in Generalized Extensive-Form Games

  • Aviad Heifetz
  • Martin Meier
  • Burkhard Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

We define an extensive-form analogue of iterated admissibility, called Prudent Rationalizability (PR). In each round of the procedure, for each information set of a player a surviving strategy of hers is required to be rational vis-a-vis a belief system with a full-support belief on the opponents' previously surviving strategies that reach that information set. Somewhat surprisingly, prudent rationalizable strategies may not refine the set of Extensive-Form Rationalizable (EFR) strategies (Pearce 1984). However, we prove that the paths induced by PR strategy-profiles (weakly) refine the set of paths induced by EFR strategies. PR applies also to generalized extensive-form games which model mutual unawareness of actions (Heifetz, Meier and Schipper, 2011a). We demonstrate the applicability of PR in the analysis of verifiable communication, and show that it yields the same, full information unraveling prediction as does the unique sequential equilibrium singled out by Milgrom and Roberts (1986); yet, we also show that under unawareness full unraveling might fail.

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 114.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 04 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:11-4
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1985. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 749, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Dubey, Pradeep & Kaneko, Mamoru, 1984. "Information patterns and Nash equilibria in extensive games: 1," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-139, October.
  3. Asheim, Geir B. & Perea, Andres, 2005. "Sequential and quasi-perfect rationalizability in extensive games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 15-42, October.
  4. Stahl, Dale O., 1995. "Lexicographic rationalizability and iterated admissibility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 155-159, February.
  5. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  6. Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Backward Induction, Normal Form Perfection and Explicable Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 627-49, May.
  7. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2002. "Strong Belief and Forward Induction Reasoning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 356-391, October.
  8. Shimoji, Makoto & Watson, Joel, 1998. "Conditional Dominance, Rationalizability, and Game Forms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 161-195, December.
  9. Battigalli, Pierpaolo, 1997. "On Rationalizability in Extensive Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 40-61, May.
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