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Markov perfection and cooperation in repeated games

  • Stähler, Frank

Markov perfection has become the usual solution concept to determine the non-cooperative equilibrium in a dynamic game. However, Markov perfection is a stronger solution concept than subgame perfection: Markov perfection rules out any cooperation in a repeated prisoners' dilemma game because the history of previous cooperation does neither change the future action space nor the possible payoffs in this setting. This paper demonstrates that a dynamic modelling approach may sustain cooperation by Markov perfect strategies in situations which are usually modelled as repeated prisoners' dilemma games. The idea is that past defection from cooperation changes a compliance state variable which enters the utility function. The corresponding dynamic games are discussed for the trigger strategy and for a strategy which is weakly renegotiation-proof. Finally, the paper shows that dynamic game modelling improves the chances for strong renegotiation-proofness in the corresponding repeated game.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 760.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:760
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  1. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  3. Evans, Robert & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Efficient renegotiation--proof equilibria in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 361-369, December.
  4. van Damme, E.E.C., 1989. "Renegotiation-proof equilibria in repeated prisoners' dilemma," Other publications TiSEM df9180a1-537e-4331-9f2a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Dutta Prajit K., 1995. "Collusion, Discounting and Dynamic Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 289-306, June.
  6. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  7. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  8. Mohr, Ernst, 1988. "On the Incredibility of Perfect Threats in Repeated Games: Note," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 551-55, August.
  9. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
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