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The Logic of Backward Induction

Author

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  • Itai Arieli
  • Robert J. Aumann

Abstract

The logic of backward induction (BI) in perfect information (PI) games has been intensely scrutinized for the past quarter century. A major development came in 2002, when P. Battigalli and M. Sinischalchi (BS) showed that an outcome of a PI game is consistent with common strong belief of utility maximization if and only if it is the BI outcome. Both BS's formulation, and their proof, are complex and deep. We show that the result continues to hold when utility maximization is replaced by a rationality condition that is even more compelling; more important, the formulation and proof become far more transparent, accessible, and self-contained.

Suggested Citation

  • Itai Arieli & Robert J. Aumann, 2013. "The Logic of Backward Induction," Discussion Paper Series dp652, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp652
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Battigalli, Pierpaolo, 1996. "Strategic Rationality Orderings and the Best Rationalization Principle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 178-200, April.
    2. Perea, Andrés, 2008. "Minimal belief revision leads to backward induction," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-26, July.
    3. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Friedenberg, Amanda, 2012. "Forward induction reasoning revisited," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), January.
    4. Aumann, Robert J., 1996. "Reply to Binmore," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 138-146, November.
    5. Asheim, Geir B. & Perea, Andres, 2005. "Sequential and quasi-perfect rationalizability in extensive games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 15-42, October.
    6. Battigalli, Pierpaolo, 1997. "On Rationalizability in Extensive Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 40-61, May.
    7. Binmore, Ken, 1996. "A Note on Backward Induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 135-137, November.
    8. Micali, Silvio & Chen, Jing, 2013. "The order independence of iterated dominance in extensive games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.
    9. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-1037, September.
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    12. Stalnaker, Robert, 1998. "Belief revision in games: forward and backward induction1," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 31-56, July.
    13. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 1999. "Hierarchies of Conditional Beliefs and Interactive Epistemology in Dynamic Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 188-230, September.
    14. N/A, 1996. "Note:," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 31(1-2), pages 1-1, January.
    15. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2002. "Strong Belief and Forward Induction Reasoning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 356-391, October.
    16. Reny, Philip J, 1992. "Backward Induction, Normal Form Perfection and Explicable Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 627-649, May.
    17. Aumann, Robert J., 1995. "Backward induction and common knowledge of rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 6-19.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rich, Patricia, 2015. "Rethinking common belief, revision, and backward induction," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 102-114.
    2. repec:spr:jogath:v:46:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00182-016-0535-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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