Are Equilibrium Strategies Unaffected by Incentives
In a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium, changing one player's payoffs affects only the other player's equilibrium strategy mix. This `Payoff Irrelevance Proposition' (PIP) appears to undercut the main foundations of economic policy analysis since, allegedly, equilibrium behavior will not respond to changes in incentives. We show, in contrast, that: (1) When the policy-maker has the first move in a sequential-move game, the PIP does not hold. (2) Even in a simultaneous-move game, the PIP holds only when the policy space is discrete, and for sufficiently small payoff revisions. Thus, incentives do generally affect behavior in equilibrium.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
- George Tsebelis, 1990. "Are Sanctions Effective?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 34(1), pages 3-28, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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