IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

'On Forward Induction

  • Srihari Govindan
  • Robert Wilson

We examine Hillas and Kohlberg's conjecture that invariance to the addition of payoff-redundant strategies implies that a backward induction outcome survives deletion of strategies that are inferior replies to all equilibria with the same outcome. That is, invariance and backward induction imply forward induction. Although it suffices in simple games to interpret backward induction as a subgame-perfect or sequential equilibrium, to obtain general theorems we use a quasi-perfect equilibrium, viz. a sequential equilibrium in strategies that are admissible continuations from each information set. Using this version of backward induction, we prove the Hillas-Kohlberg conjecture for two-player extensive-form games with perfect recall. We also prove an analogous theorem for general games by interpreting backward induction as a proper equilibrium, since a proper equilibrium is equivalent to a quasi-perfect equilibrium of each extensive form with the same normal form, provided beliefs are justifed by perturbations invariant to inessential transformations of the extensive form. For a two-player game we prove that if a set of equilibria includes a proper equilibrium of every game with the same reduced normal form then it satisfies forward induction, i.e. it includes a proper equilibrium of the game after deleting strategies that are inferior replies to all equilibria in the set. We invoke slightly stronger versions of invariance and properness to handle nonlinearities in an N-player game.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 321307000000000825.

in new window

Date of creation: 13 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:321307000000000825
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Srihari Govindan & Robert Wilson, 2009. "On Forward Induction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(1), pages 1-28, 01.
  2. Cramton, Peter C & Tracy, Joseph S, 1994. "Wage Bargaining with Time-Varying Threats," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 594-617, October.
  3. Hauk, Esther & Hurkens, Sjaak, 2002. "On Forward Induction and Evolutionary and Strategic Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 66-90, September.
  4. van Damme, Eric, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 476-496, August.
  5. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1988. "On Delay in Bargaining with One-Sided Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 601-11, May.
  6. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1987. "Advertising and Limit Pricing," Discussion Papers 729, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
  8. KOHLBERG, Elon & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "On the strategic stability of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP 716, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Bagwell, Kyle, 1987. "Introductory Price as a Signal of Cost in a Model of Repeat Business," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 365-84, July.
  11. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Cramton, Peter & Deneckere, Raymond J., 2002. "Bargaining with incomplete information," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 1897-1945 Elsevier.
  12. Ying Chen & Navin Kartik & Joel Sobel, 2008. "Selecting Cheap-Talk Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 117-136, 01.
  13. John Hillas, 1996. "On the Relation Between Perfect Equilibria in Extensive Form Games and Proper Equilibria in Normal Form Games," Game Theory and Information 9605002, EconWPA, revised 14 May 1996.
  14. Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
  15. Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Backward Induction, Normal Form Perfection and Explicable Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 627-49, May.
  16. van Damme, E.E.C., 2000. "Strategic Equilibrium," Discussion Paper 2000-115, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  17. Yossi Feinberg & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2005. "Uncertainty about Uncertainty and Delay in Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 69-91, 01.
  18. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2002. "Strong Belief and Forward Induction Reasoning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 356-391, October.
  19. McLennan, Andrew, 1985. "Justifiable Beliefs in Sequential Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 889-904, July.
  20. Mailath, G.J. & Samuelson, L., 1996. "How Proper Is Sequential Equilibrium?," Working papers 9611r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  21. Sanford J. Grossman & Motty Perry, 1986. "Sequential Bargaining Under Asymmetric Information," NBER Technical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
  23. Ponssard, Jean-Pierre, 1991. "Forward induction and sunk costs give average cost pricing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 221-236, May.
  24. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2002. "On the Role of Outside Options in Bargaining with Obstinate Parties," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1477-1517, July.
  25. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
  26. Govindan, Srihari & Wilson, Robert, 2001. "Direct Proofs of Generic Finiteness of Nash Equilibrium Outcomes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 765-69, May.
  27. Blume, Lawrence & Brandenburger, Adam & Dekel, Eddie, 1991. "Lexicographic Probabilities and Equilibrium Refinements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 81-98, January.
  28. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 345-64, July.
  29. Wilson, Robert B. & Govindan, Srihari, 2006. "Sufficient conditions for stable equilibria," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 167-206, June.
  30. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
  31. van Damme, E.E.C., 1984. "A relation between perfect equilibria in extensive form games and proper equilibria in normal form games," Other publications TiSEM 3734d89e-fd5c-4c80-a230-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:321307000000000825. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.