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Social Learning in Recurring Games

  • Matthew Jackson
  • Ehud Kalai

In a recurring game, a stage game is played sequentially by different groups of players. Each group receives publicly available information about the play of earlier groups. Players begin with initial uncertainty about the distribution of types (representing the preferences and strategic behavior) of players in the population. Later groups of players are able to learn from the history of play of earlier groups. We first study the evolution of beliefs in this uncertain recurring setting and then study how the structure of uncertainty and information determine the eventual convergence of play. We show that beliefs converge over time and, moreover, that the limit beliefs are empirically correct: their forecast of future public information matches the true distribution of future public information. Next, we provide sufficient conditions to ensure that the play of any stage game is eventually close to that of a Bayesian equilibrium where players know the true type generating distribution. We go further to identify conditions under which play converges to the play of a trembling-hand perfect (Bayesian) equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1138.

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Date of creation: Aug 1995
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1138
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  1. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  2. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  3. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1991. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Working Papers 91-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Ehud Kalai & Ehud Lehrer, 1991. "Subjective Equilibrium in Repeated Games," Discussion Papers 981, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  6. Lehrer, E, 1989. "Lower Equilibrium Payoffs in Two-Player Repeated Games with Non-observable Actions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 57-89.
  7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  9. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  10. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium ," Working papers 581, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Ehud Kalai & Ehud Lehrer, 1992. "Weak and Strong Merging of Opinions," Discussion Papers 983, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Lehrer, Ehud & Smorodinsky, Rann, 1997. "Repeated Large Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 116-134, January.
  13. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
  14. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1993. "Steady State Learning and Nash Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 373, David K. Levine.
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