Participation Games: Market Entry, Coordination and the Beautiful Blonde
We find the Nash equilibria for monotone n-player symmetric games where each player chooses whether to participate. Examples include market entry games, coordination games, and the bar-room game depicted in the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'. The symmetric Nash equilibrium involves excessive participation (a common property resource problem) if participants’ payoffs are decreasing (in the number of participants), and insufficient participation if payoffs are increasing. With decreasing payoffs there can be many equilibria, but with increasing payoffs there are only three. Some comparative static properties of changing one player’s participation payoffs are counter-intuitive, especially with more than two players.
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