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Testable Restrictions of Nash Equilibrium in Games with Continuous Domains



This paper studies the falsifiability of the hypothesis of Nash behavior, for the case of a finite number of players who choose from continuous domains, subject to constraints. The results obtained here are negative. Assuming the observation of finite data sets, and using weak, but nontrivial, requirements for rationalizability, I show that the hypothesis is falsifiable, as it imposes nontautological, nonparametric testable restrictions. An assessment of these restrictions, however, shows that they are extremely weak, and that a researcher should expect, before observing the data set, that the test based on these restrictions will be passed by observed data. Without further specific assumptions, there do not exist harsher tests, since the conditions derived here also turn out to be sufficient. Moreover, ruling out the possibility that individuals may be cooperating so as to attain Pareto-efficient outcomes is impossible, as this behavior is in itself unfalsifiable with finite data sets. Imposing aggregation, or strategic complementarity and/or substitutability, if theoretically plausible, may provide for a harsher test.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Carvajal, 2004. "Testable Restrictions of Nash Equilibrium in Games with Continuous Domains," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/26, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Nov 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0426

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ray, Indrajit & Zhou, Lin, 2001. "Game Theory via Revealed Preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 415-424, November.
    2. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1987. "Revealed Preferences and Differentiable Demand: Notes and Comments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 687-691, May.
    3. Brown, Donald J & Matzkin, Rosa L, 1996. "Testable Restrictions on the Equilibrium Manifold," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1249-1262, November.
    4. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1007-1028, July.
    5. Sprumont, Yves, 2000. "On the Testable Implications of Collective Choice Theories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 205-232, August.
    6. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
    7. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-1050, July.
    8. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Carvajal, 2003. "Testable Restrictions og General Equilibrium Theory in Exchange Economies with Externalities," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003556, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    2. Natalia Lazzati & John K.-H. Quah & Koji Shirai, 2015. "A revealed preference theory of monotone choice and strategic complementarity," Discussion Paper Series 138, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Dec 2015.
    3. Carvajal, Andres & Quah, John K.-H., 2009. "A Nonparametric Analysis of the Cournot Model," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 922, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Andrés Carvajal, 2010. "The testable implications of competitive equilibrium in economies with externalities," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 45(1), pages 349-378, October.

    More about this item


    Game theory; testable restrictions; revealed preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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