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Nash equilibrium under knightian uncertainty: breaking down backward induction (extensively revised version)

  • Dow, James
  • Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa

We define Nash equilibrium for two-person normal form games in the presence of uncertainty, in the sense of Knight(1921). We use the fonna1iution of uncertainty due to Schmeidler and Gilboa. We show tbat there exist Nash equilibria for any degree of uncertainty, as measured by the uncertainty aversion (Dow anel Wer1ang(l992a». We show by example tbat prudent behaviour (maxmin) can be obtained as an outcome even when it is not rationaliuble in the usual sense. Next, we break down backward industion in the twice repeated prisoner's dilemma. We link these results with those on cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma obtained by Kreps-Milgrom-Roberts-Wdson(1982), and withthe 1iterature on epistemological conditions underlying Nash equilibrium. The knowledge notion implicit in this mode1 of equilibrium does not display logical omniscience.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 213.

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Date of creation: Apr 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:213
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