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Cheating on Your Spouse: A Game-Theoretic Analysis


  • Batabyal, Amitrajeet
  • Beladi, Hamid


In this note we analyze a game model of marital infidelity. The husband can either be faithful to or cheat on his wife. The wife can either monitor or not monitor her husband. We first determine the best response correspondences of the two players. Second, we explain why there is no pure-strategy Nash equilibrium in the game under study. Third, we show that there exists a unique mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium in the game. Finally, we demonstrate the nexus between our marital infidelity game and the prominent Matching Pennies game.

Suggested Citation

  • Batabyal, Amitrajeet & Beladi, Hamid, 2016. "Cheating on Your Spouse: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," MPRA Paper 75758, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:75758

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce T. Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2014. "The determinants of marital happiness," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(28), pages 3452-3462, October.
    2. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "A Theory of Extramarital Affairs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 45-61, February.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    4. Kitae Sohn, 2008. "Why are there singles: Being single in equilibrium as a partner discipline device," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(10), pages 1-6.
    5. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2013. "New facts on infidelity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 458-462.
    6. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2008. "So, What Did You Do Last Night? The Economics of Infidelity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 391-410, August.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2008:i:10:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Joel Potter, 2011. "Reexamining the Economics of Marital Infidelity," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 41-52.
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    More about this item


    Cheating; Faithfulness; Monitoring; Mixed-Strategy; Static Game;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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