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Avoiding the Curse of Dimensionality in Dynamic Stochastic Games

  • Ulrich Doraszelski
  • Kenneth L. Judd

Discrete-time stochastic games with a finite number of states have been widely ap- plied to study the strategic interactions among forward-looking players in dynamic en- vironments. However, these games suffer from a "curse of dimensionality" since the cost of computing players' expectations over all possible future states increases exponentially in the number of state variables. We explore the alternative of continuous-time stochas- tic games with a finite number of states, and show that continuous time has substantial computational and conceptual advantages. Most important, continuous time avoids the curse of dimensionality, thereby speeding up the computations by orders of magnitude in games with more than a few state variables. Overall, the continuous-time approach opens the way to analyze more complex and realistic stochastic games than currently feasible.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2059.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2059
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  1. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  2. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, June.
  3. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "A Framework for Applied Dynamic Analysis in IO," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  4. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521637329 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Gowrisankaran, Gautam, 1999. "Efficient representation of state spaces for some dynamic models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1077-1098, August.
  7. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 10450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ariel Pakes & Michael Ostrovsky & Steve Berry, 2004. "Simple Estimators for the Parameters of Discrete Dynamic Games (with Entry/Exit Samples)," NBER Working Papers 10506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Patricia Langohr, 2003. "Competitive Convergence and Divergence: Capability and Position Dynamics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 229, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Ulrich Doraszelski & Sarit Markovich, 2004. "Advertising Dynamics and Competitive Advantage," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 162, Econometric Society.
  11. Martin Pesendorfer & Philipp Schmidt-Dengler, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Dynamic Games," NBER Working Papers 9726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ulrich Doraszelski & Mark Satterthwaite, 2003. "Foundations of Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics. Existence, Purification, and Multiplicity," Discussion Papers 1383, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Ulrich Doraszelski & Sarit Markovich, 2004. "Advertising Dynamics and Competitive Advantage," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 61, Society for Computational Economics.
  14. C. Lanier Benkard, 2004. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 581-611, 07.
  15. Pakes, Ariel & McGuire, Paul, 2001. "Stochastic Algorithms, Symmetric Markov Perfect Equilibrium, and the 'Curse' of Dimensionality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1261-81, September.
  16. Erkan Erdem & James Tybout, 2003. "Trade Policy and Industrial Sector Responses: Using Evolutionary Models to Interpret the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 9947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Ronald L. Goettler & Christine A. Parlour, 2004. "Equilibrium in a Dynamic Limit Order Market," 2004 Meeting Papers 757, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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