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Revisiting Methodological Individualism in Game Theory: The Contributions of Schelling and Bacharach


  • Lauren Larrouy

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France


The purpose of this contribution is to illustrate how both Schelling and Bacharach’s methodologies can help scholars bring a new approach to behavioral game theory in which the nature of usual standard methodological individualism is insufficiently questioned. I aim to show that both Schelling and Bacharach question the nature of interactive rationality. They provide original insight concerning (i) the conditions of possibility of the existence of determinate solutions and (ii) the resolution process of games. Furthermore, their questioning of the methodological implications of the well-known trio of standard game theory (common knowledge, the transparency of reasons and the reduction of "strategic uncertainty" to "physical uncertainty") offers some ideas on how to build an alternative theory of games. As forerunners, they open an ongoing research program which can still be a fruitful source of methodological innovation regarding interactive rationality and its collective determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauren Larrouy, 2015. "Revisiting Methodological Individualism in Game Theory: The Contributions of Schelling and Bacharach," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-14, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2015-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, December.
    2. Alessandro Innocenti, 2007. "Player heterogeneity and empiricism in Schelling," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 409-428.
    3. Alain Marciano, 2004. "The Historical and Philosophical Foundations of New Political Economy," Chapters, in: John B. Davis & Alain Marciano & Jochen Runde (ed.),The Elgar Companion To Economics and Philosophy, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. repec:fth:harver:1479 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Anderlini, Luca, 1999. "Communication, Computability, and Common Interest Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-37, April.
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    More about this item


    game theory; interactive rationality; framing; focal point; team reasoning; methodological individualism;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D79 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Other
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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