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Informational Smallness and Private Monitoring in Repeated Games

  • Rich McLean
  • Ichiro Obara
  • Andrew Postlewaite

For repeated games with noisy private monitoring and communication, we examine robustness of perfect public equilibrium/subgame perfect equilibrium when private monitoring is "close" to some public monitoring. Private monitoring is "close" to public monitoring if the private signals can generate approxi-mately the same public signal once they are aggregated. Two key notions on private monitoring are introduced: Informational Smallness and Distributional Variability. A player is informationally small if she believes that her signal is likely to have a small impact when private signals are aggregated to generate a public signal. Distributional variability measures the variation in a player’s conditional beliefs over the generated public signal as her private signal varies. When informational size is small relative to distributional variability (and private signals are sufficiently close to public monitoring), a uniformly strict equilibrium with public monitoring remains an equilibrium with private monitoring and communication. To demonstrate that uniform strictness is not overly restrictive, we prove a uniform folk theorem with public monitoring which, combined with our robustness result, yields a new folk theorem for repeated games with private monitoring and communication.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000261.

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Date of creation: 08 Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000261
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Luca Anderlini & Roger Lagunoff, 2000. "Communication in Dynastic Repeated Games: 'Whitewashes' and 'Coverups'," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jul 2001.
  2. Michihiro Kandori & Ichiro Obara, 2004. "Efficiency in Repeated Games Revisited: The Role of Private Strategies," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000055, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2005. "Coordination Failure in Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000340, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
  5. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2002. "The Nash Threats Folk Theorem With Communication and Approximate Common Knowledge In Two Player Games," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1961, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  7. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 1999. "Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," CARESS Working Papres almost-pub, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences, revised 01 Sep 2000.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
  9. Richard McLean & Andrew Postlewaite, . "Informational Size and Incentive Compatibility," Penn CARESS Working Papers 7f6ff09d59945e06909ce4fa4, Penn Economics Department.
  10. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  11. Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 1992. "Long Term Competition-A Game Theoretic Analysis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 676, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Ben-Porath, Elchanan & Kahneman, Michael, 1996. "Communication in Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 281-297, August.
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