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A Foundation for Markov Equilibria with Finite Social Memory

Author

Listed:
  • V. Bhaskar

    () (University College London)

  • George J. Mailath

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Stephen Morris

    () (Department of Economics, Princeton University)

Abstract

We study stochastic games with an infinite horizon and sequential moves played by an arbitrary number of players. We assume that social memory is finite---every player, except possibly one, is finitely lived and cannot observe events that are sufficiently far back in the past. This class of games includes games between a long-run player and a sequence of short-run players and games with overlapping generations of players. Indeed, any stochastic game with infinitely lived players can be reinterpreted as one with finitely lived players: Each finitely-lived player is replaced by a successor, and receives the value of the successor's payoff. This value may arise from altruism, but the player also receives such a value if he can “sell” his position in a competitive market. In both cases, his objective will be to maximize infinite horizon payoffs, though his information on past events will be limited. An equilibrium is purifiable if close-by behavior is consistent with equilibrium when agents' payoffs in each period are perturbed additively and independently. We show that only Markov equilibria are purifiable when social memory is finite. Thus if a game has at most one long-run player, all purifiable equilibria are Markov.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Bhaskar & George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2012. "A Foundation for Markov Equilibria with Finite Social Memory," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:12-003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bhaskar, V. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2002. "Asynchronous Choice and Markov Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 334-350, April.
    2. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
    3. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Escobar, Juan, 2010. "A theory of regular Markov perfect equilibria in dynamic stochastic games: genericity, stability, and purification," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(3), September.
    4. Mailath, George J. & Olszewski, Wojciech, 2011. "Folk theorems with bounded recall under (almost) perfect monitoring," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 174-192, January.
    5. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Valimaki, Juuso, 2002. "A Robust Folk Theorem for the Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 84-105, January.
    6. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    7. Liu, Qingmin & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2009. "Limited Records and Reputation," Research Papers 2030, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    8. V. Bhaskar, 1998. "Informational Constraints and the Overlapping Generations Model: Folk and Anti-Folk Theorems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 135-149.
    9. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Schnabel & Hyun Song Shin, 2018. "Money and trust: lessons from the 1620s for money in the digital age," BIS Working Papers 698, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Purification; Markov perfect equilibrium; dynamic games;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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