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Rationalization and Incomplete Information

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  • P. Battigalli
  • M. Siniscalchi

Abstract

We analyze a family of extensive-form solution procedures for games with incomplete information that do not require the specification of an epistemic type space a la Harsanyi, but can accommodate a (commonly known) collection of explicit restrictions D on first-order beliefs. For any fixed D we obtain a solution called D-rationalizability.In static games, D-rationalizability characterizes the set of outcomes (combinations of payoff types and strategies) that may occur in any Bayesian equilibrium model consistent with D; these are precisely the outcomes consistent with common certainty of rationality and of the restrictions D. Hence, our approach to the analysis of incomplete-information games is consistent with Harsanyi's, and it may be viewed as capturing the robust implications of Bayesian equilibrium analysis.In dynamic games, D-rationalizability yields a forward-induction refinement of this set of Bayesian equilibrium outcomes. Focusing on the restriction that first-order beliefs be consistent with a given distribution on terminal nodes, we obtain a refinement of self-confirming equilibrium. In signalling games, this refinement coincides with the Iterated Intuitive Criterion.
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  • P. Battigalli & M. Siniscalchi, 2002. "Rationalization and Incomplete Information," Princeton Economic Theory Working Papers 9817a118e65062903de7c3577, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:princt:9817a118e65062903de7c3577d29be36
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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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