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The Strategic Impact of Higher-Order Beliefs

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  • Yi-Chun Chen
  • Alfredo Di Tillio
  • Eduardo Faingold
  • Siyang Xiong

Abstract

Previous research has established that the predictions made by game theory about strategic behavior in incomplete information games are quite sensitive to the assumptions made about the players' infinite hierarchies of beliefs. We evaluate the severity of this robustness problem by characterizing conditions on the primitives of the model -- the players’ hierarchies of beliefs -- for the strategic behavior of a given Harsanyi type to be approximated by the strategic behavior of (a sequence of) perturbed types. This amounts to providing characterizations of the strategic topologies of Dekel, Fudenberg, and Morris (2006) in terms of beliefs. We apply our characterizations to a variety of questions concerning robustness to perturbations of higher-order beliefs, including genericity of common priors, and the connections between robustness of strategic behavior and the notion of common p-belief of Monderer and Samet (1989).
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Suggested Citation

  • Yi-Chun Chen & Alfredo Di Tillio & Eduardo Faingold & Siyang Xiong, 2012. "The Strategic Impact of Higher-Order Beliefs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000517, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000517
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adam Brandenburger & Eddie Dekel, 2014. "Hierarchies of Beliefs and Common Knowledge," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 2, pages 31-41 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Zvika Neeman, 1993. "A Note on Approximating Agreeing to Disagree Results with Common p-Beliefs," Discussion Papers 1029, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Aviad Heifetz & Zvika Neeman, 2006. "On the Generic (Im)Possibility of Full Surplus Extraction in Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 213-233, January.
    4. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Morris, Stephen, 2007. "Interim correlated rationalizability," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 15-40, March.
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2009. "Robust Implementation in Direct Mechanisms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1175-1204.
    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, March.
    7. Adam Brandenburger & Eddie Dekel, 2014. "Rationalizability and Correlated Equilibria," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Language of Game Theory Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games, chapter 3, pages 43-57 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Xiong, Siyang & Chen, Yi-Chun & di Tillio, Alfredo & Faingold, Eduardo, 2010. "Uniform topologies on types," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(3), September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Hellwig, 2016. "A Homeomorphism Theorem for the Universal Type Space with the Uniform Topology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_17, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2017.
    2. Bergemann, Dirk & Morris, Stephen & Takahashi, Satoru, 2017. "Interdependent preferences and strategic distinguishability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 329-371.
    3. Chen, Yi-Chun & Xiong, Siyang, 2013. "The e-mail game phenomenon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 147-156.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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