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Existence of Equilibria in Discontinuous Games


  • Nessah, Rabia
  • Tian, Guoqiang


This paper investigates the existence of pure strategy, dominant strategy, and mixed strategy Nash equilibria in discontinuous games. We introduce a new notion of weak continuity, called weak transfer quasi-continuity, which is weaker than most known weak notions of continuity, including diagonal transfer continuity in Baye et al (1993) and better-reply security in Reny (1999), and holds in a large class of discontinuous games. We show that it, together with strong diagonal transfer quasiconcavity introduced in the paper, is enough to guarantee the existence of Nash equilibria in compact and convex normal form games. We provide sufficient conditions for weak transfer quasi-continuity by introducing notions of weak transfer continuity, weak transfer upper continuity, and weak transfer lower continuity. Moreover, an analogous analysis is applied to show the existence of dominant strategy and mixed strategy Nash equilibria in discontinuous games.

Suggested Citation

  • Nessah, Rabia & Tian, Guoqiang, 2008. "Existence of Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," MPRA Paper 41206, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41206

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tian, Guoqiang, 1992. "On the Existence of Equilibria in Generalized Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 20(3), pages 247-254.
    2. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    3. Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On the Existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1029-1056, September.
    4. Paul Rothstein, 2007. "Discontinuous Payoffs, Shared Resources, and Games of Fiscal Competition: Existence of Pure Strategy Nash Equilibrium," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 335-368, April.
    5. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger & Page Jr, Frank H., 2007. "Uniform payoff security and Nash equilibrium in compact games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 566-575, May.
    6. Leo K. Simon, 1987. "Games with Discontinuous Payoffs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 569-597.
    7. Andrew McLennan & Paulo K. Monteiro & Rabee Tourky, 2011. "Games With Discontinuous Payoffs: A Strengthening of Reny's Existence Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1643-1664, September.
    8. Morgan, Jacqueline & Scalzo, Vincenzo, 2007. "Pseudocontinuous functions and existence of Nash equilibria," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 174-183, February.
    9. Robson~ Arthur J., 1994. "An Informationally Robust Equilibrium for Two-Person Nonzero-Sum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 233-245, September.
    10. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
    11. Guilherme Carmona, 2005. "On the existence of equilibria in discontinuous games: three counterexamples," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 33(2), pages 181-187, June.
    12. Adib Bagh & Alejandro Jofre, 2006. "Reciprocal Upper Semicontinuity and Better Reply Secure Games: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1715-1721, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavlo Prokopovych, 2010. "Domain L-Majorization and Equilibrium Existence in Discontinuous Games," Discussion Papers 31, Kyiv School of Economics, revised May 2011.
    2. Rabia Nessah & Guoqiang Tian, 2016. "On the existence of Nash equilibrium in discontinuous games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(3), pages 515-540, March.
    3. Pavlo Prokopovych, 2013. "The single deviation property in games with discontinuous payoffs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(2), pages 383-402, June.

    More about this item


    Discontinuous games; weak transfer quasi-continuity; pure strategy; mixed strategy; dominant strategy; Nash equilibrium; existence;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General


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