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Finite Automata in Undiscounted Repeated Games with Private Monitoring


  • Julian Romero


I study two-player undiscounted repeated games with imperfect private monitoring. When strategies are restricted to those implementable by nite automata, fewer equilibrium outcomes are possible. When only two-state automata are allowed, a simple strategy, "Win-Stay, Lose-Shift," leads to cooperation. WSLS has the nice property that it is able to endogenously recoordinate back to cooperation after an incorrect signal. I show that WSLS is essentially the only equilibrium that leads to cooperation in the in nitely repeated Prisoner's Dilemma game. In addition, it is also an equilibrium for a wide range of 2 x 2 games. I also give necessary and su cient conditions on the structure of equilibrium strategies when players can use strategies implementable by fnite automata.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Romero, 2011. "Finite Automata in Undiscounted Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1260, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1260

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neyman, Abraham, 1985. "Bounded complexity justifies cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 227-229.
    2. 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.
    3. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2007. "Effecting Cooperation," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 29 May 2009.
    4. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    5. Reinhard Selten & Thorsten Chmura, 2008. "Stationary Concepts for Experimental 2x2-Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 938-966, June.
    6. Obara, Ichiro, 2009. "Folk theorem with communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 120-134, January.
    7. Lehrer, Ehud, 1988. "Repeated games with stationary bounded recall strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 130-144, October.
    8. Sabourian, Hamid, 1998. "Repeated games with M-period bounded memory (pure strategies)," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-35, August.
    9. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
    10. Pedro Dal Bo & Guillaume R. Frochette, 2011. "The Evolution of Cooperation in Infinitely Repeated Games: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 411-429, February.
    11. Lehrer, Ehud, 1992. "On the Equilibrium Payoffs Set of Two Player Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 20(3), pages 211-226.
    12. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Monte & Maher Said, 2014. "The value of (bounded) memory in a changing world," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(1), pages 59-82, May.

    More about this item


    Bounded Rationality; Finite Automata; Prisoner's Dilemma; Private Monitoring; Tit-For-Tat; Win-Stay Lose-Shift;

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • 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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