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Non-Computable Strategies and Discounted Repeated Games

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  • William R. Zame

    (UCLA)

Abstract

A number of authors have used formal models of computation to capture the idea of "bounded rationality" in repeated games. Most of this literature has used computability by a finite automaton as the standard. A conceptual difficulty with this standard is that the decision problem is not "closed." That is, for every strategy implementable by an automaton, there is some best response implementable by an automaton, but there may not exist any algorithm for finding such a best response that can be implemented by an automaton. However, such algorithms can always be implemented by a Turing machine, the most powerful formal model of computation. In this paper, we investigate whether the decision problem can be closed by adopting Turing machines as the standard of computability. The answer we offer is negative. Indeed, for a large class of discounted repeated games (including the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma) there exist strategies implementable by a Turing machine for which no best response is implementable by a Turing machine.
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Zame, 1995. "Non-Computable Strategies and Discounted Repeated Games," UCLA Economics Working Papers 735, UCLA Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:735
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp735.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Canning, David, 1992. "Rationality, Computability, and Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 877-888, July.
    2. John H. Nachbar, 1997. "Prediction, Optimization, and Learning in Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 275-310, March.
    3. Gilboa, Itzhak & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Bounded versus unbounded rationality: The tyranny of the weak," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 213-221, September.
    4. Anderlini, Luca & Sabourian, Hamid, 1995. "Cooperation and Effective Computability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1337-1369, November.
    5. Stanford, William, 1989. "Symmetric paths and evolution to equilibrium in the discounted prisoners' dilemma," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 139-143, December.
    6. Kalai, Ehud & Stanford, William, 1988. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 397-410, March.
    7. Binmore, Ken, 1987. "Modeling Rational Players: Part I," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 179-214, October.
    8. Abreu, Dilip & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1988. "The Structure of Nash Equilibrium in Repeated Games with Finite Automata," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1259-1281, November.
    9. Knoblauch Vicki, 1994. "Computable Strategies for Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 381-389, November.
    10. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1986. "Finite automata play the repeated prisoner's dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 83-96, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Richter, Marcel K. & Wong, Kam-Chau, 1999. "Computable preference and utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 339-354, November.
    2. Conitzer, Vincent & Sandholm, Tuomas, 2008. "New complexity results about Nash equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 621-641, July.
    3. Stephen J. Decanio, 1999. "Estimating The Non-Environmental Consequences Of Greenhouse Gas Reductions Is Harder Than You Think," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 279-295, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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