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The Strategic Impact of Higher-Order Beliefs

Previous research has established that the predictions made by game theory about strategic behavior in incomplete information games are quite sensitive to the assumptions made about the players' infinite hierarchies of beliefs. We evaluate the severity of this robustness problem by characterizing conditions on the primitives of the model -- the players’ hierarchies of beliefs -- for the strategic behavior of a given Harsanyi type to be approximated by the strategic behavior of (a sequence of) perturbed types. This amounts to providing characterizations of the strategic topologies of Dekel, Fudenberg, and Morris (2006) in terms of beliefs. We apply our characterizations to a variety of questions concerning robustness to perturbations of higher-order beliefs, including genericity of common priors, and the connections between robustness of strategic behavior and the notion of common p-belief of Monderer and Samet (1989).

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d18b/d1875.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1875.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1875
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
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Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Zvika Neeman, 1993. "A Note on Approximating Agreeing to Disagree Results with Common p-Beliefs," Discussion Papers 1029, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Brandenburger Adam & Dekel Eddie, 1993. "Hierarchies of Beliefs and Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 189-198, February.
  3. Eddie Dekel & Drew Fudenberg & Stephen Morris, 2006. "Interim Correlated Rationalizability," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001188, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Yi-Chun Chen & Alfredo Di Tillio & Eduardo Faingold & Siyang Xiong, 2009. "Uniform Topologies on Types," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1734, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Dirk Bergemann & Stephen Morris, 2009. "Robust Implementation in Direct Mechanisms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1175-1204.
  6. Aviad Heifetz & Zvika Neeman, 2006. "On the Generic (Im)Possibility of Full Surplus Extraction in Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 213-233, 01.
  7. Brandenburger, Adam & Dekel, Eddie, 1987. "Rationalizability and Correlated Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1391-1402, November.
  8. Jonathan Weinstein & Muhamet Yildiz, 2007. "A Structure Theorem for Rationalizability with Application to Robust Predictions of Refinements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 365-400, 03.
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