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Strategic teaching and learning in games

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  • Burkhard Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

It is known that there are uncoupled learning heuristics leading to Nash equilibrium in all finite games. Why should players use such learning heuristics and where could they come from? We show that there is no uncoupled learning heuristic leading to Nash equilibrium in all finite games that a player has an incentive to adopt, that would be "evolutionary stable" or that "could learn itself". Rather, a player has an incentive to strategically teach such a learning opponent in order secure at least the Stackelberg leader payoff. The impossibility result remains intact when restricted to the classes of generic games, two-player games, potential games, games with strategic complements or 2x2 games, in which learning is known to be "nice". More generally, it also applies to uncoupled learning heuristics leading to correlated equilibria, rationalizable outcomes, iterated admissible outcomes, or minimal curb sets. A possibility result restricted to "strategically trivial" games fails if some generic games outside this class are considered as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard Schipper, 2015. "Strategic teaching and learning in games," Working Papers 151, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:15-1
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning in games; learning heuristics; learning rules; interactive learning; uncoupled learning; meta-learning; reputation; Nash equilibrium; correlated equilibrium; rationalizability; iterated admissibility; minimal curb sets; dominance solvable games; common interest games;

    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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