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Efficiency Gains in Repeated Games at Random Moments in Time


  • Osório-Costa, António M.


This paper studies repeated games where the time of repetitions of the stage game is not known or controlled by the players. Many economic situations of interest where players repeatedly interact share this feature, players do not know exactly when is the next time they will be called to play again. We call this feature random monitoring. We show that perfect random monitoring is always superior to perfect deterministic monitoring when players discount function is convex in time domain. Surprisingly when the monitoring is imperfect but public the result does not extend in the same absolute sense. The positive effect in the players discounting is not sufficient to compensate for a larger probability of punishment for all frequencies of play. However, we establish conditions under which random monitoring allows efficiency gains on the value of the best strongly symmetric equilibrium payoffs, when compared with the classic deterministic approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Osório-Costa, António M., 2009. "Efficiency Gains in Repeated Games at Random Moments in Time," MPRA Paper 13105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13105

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yuliy Sannikov & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1794-1823, December.
    2. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
    3. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    4. Fudenberg Drew & Levine David K., 1994. "Efficiency and Observability with Long-Run and Short-Run Players," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 103-135, February.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
    6. Yuliy Sannikov, 2007. "Games with Imperfectly Observable Actions in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1285-1329, September.
    7. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-554, May.
    8. Abreu, Dilip & Milgrom, Paul & Pearce, David, 1991. "Information and Timing in Repeated Partnerships," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1713-1733, November.
    9. Roy Radner & Roger Myerson & Eric Maskin, 1986. "An Example of a Repeated Partnership Game with Discounting and with Uniformly Inefficient Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 59-69.
    10. 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.
    11. Eduardo Faingold & Yuliy Sannikov, 2007. "Reputation Effects and Equilibrium Degeneracy in Continuous-Time Games," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1624, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    12. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
    13. Porter, Robert H., 1983. "Optimal cartel trigger price strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-338, April.
    14. Eduardo Faingold & Yuri Sannikov, 2007. "Reputation Effects and Equilibrium Degeneracy in Continuous Time Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001487, UCLA Department of Economics.
    15. Stahl, Dale II, 1991. "The graph of Prisoners' Dilemma supergame payoffs as a function of the discount factor," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 368-384, August.
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    More about this item


    Repeated Games; Random Monitoring; Perfect and Imperfect Public Monitoring; Moral Hazard; Stochastic Processes;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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