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How to play the games? Nash versus Berge behavior rules


  • Pierre Courtois
  • Rabia Nessah
  • Tarik Tazdaït


Social interactions regularly lead to mutually beneficial transactions that are sometimes puzzling. The prisoner’s dilemma and the chicken and trust games prove to be less perplexing than Nash equilibrium predicts. Moral preferences seem to complement self-oriented motivations and their relative predominance in games is found to vary according to the individuals, their environment, and the game. This paper examines the appropriateness of Berge equilibrium to study several 2×2 game situations, notably cooperative games where mutual support yields socially better outcomes. We consider the Berge behavior rule complementarily to Nash: individuals play one behavior rule or another, depending on the game situation. We then define non-cooperative Berge equilibrium, discuss what it means to play in this fashion, and argue why individuals may choose to do so. Finally, we discuss the relationship between Nash and Berge notions and analyze the rationale of individuals playing in a situational perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Courtois & Rabia Nessah & Tarik Tazdaït, 2011. "How to play the games? Nash versus Berge behavior rules," Working Papers 11-05, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Feb 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:11-05

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand Crettez, 2019. "Unilateral Support Equilibrium, Berge Equilibrium, and Team Problems Solutions," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 17(4), pages 727-739, December.
    2. Courtois, Pierre & Nessah, Rabia & Tazdaït, Tarik, 2017. "Existence and computation of Berge equilibrium and of two refinements," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 7-15.
    3. Guilhem Lecouteux, 2018. "What does “we” want? Team Reasoning, Game Theory, and Unselfish Behaviours," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 128(3), pages 311-332.
    4. Giannini Italino Alves Vieira & Leandro Chaves Rêgo, 2020. "Berge Solution Concepts in the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 103-125, February.
    5. Bertrand Crettez, 2017. "A New Sufficient Condition for a Berge Equilibrium to be a Berge–Vaisman Equilibrium," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 15(3), pages 451-459, September.
    6. Schouten, Jop & Borm, Peter & Hendrickx, Ruud, 2018. "Unilateral Support Equilibria," Discussion Paper 2018-011, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Crettez, Bertrand & Nessah, Rabia, 2020. "On the existence of unilateral support equilibrium," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 41-47.
    8. Bertrand Crettez, 2017. "On Sugden’s “mutually beneficial practice” and Berge equilibrium," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 64(4), pages 357-366, December.
    9. Rodica Ioana Lung & Mihai Suciu & Noémi Gaskó & D Dumitrescu, 2015. "Characterization and Detection of ϵ-Berge-Zhukovskii Equilibria," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(7), pages 1-15, July.
    10. Olivier Musy & Antonin Pottier & Tarik Tazdait, 2012. "A New Theorem To Find Berge Equilibria," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 14(01), pages 1-10.
    11. Sylvain Baumann, 2017. "Spying Solution In The Framework Of Terrorist Conflicts," Post-Print hal-02949086, HAL.
    12. Antonin Pottier & Rabia Nessah, 2014. "Berge–Vaisman And Nash Equilibria: Transformation Of Games," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(04), pages 1-8.
    13. Rabia Nessah & Moussa Larbani, 2014. "Berge–Zhukovskii Equilibria: Existence And Characterization," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(04), pages 1-11.
    14. Bertrand Crettez, 2017. "On Hobbes’s state of nature and game theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 499-511, December.

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