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The Conception of the Individual in Non-Cooperative Game Theory

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  • John B. Davis

    () (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper examines the conception of individuals as being of certain types in Harsanyi'stransformation of games of incomplete information into games of complete information. Itargues that while the conception of the individual in games of complete information offerspotential advances over the problematic neoclassical conception of the individual, Harsanyi'smore realistic incomplete information games framework essentially re-introduces the difficultiesfrom the neoclassical conception. A further argument of the paper is that flxed point equilibriumexistence proof theorems and individual existence proofs function in an analogous manner, andcan consequently been seen as both dependent upon one another. Thus the inadequacy ofHarsanyi's conception of individuals raises questions about Nash equilibrium approaches toequilibria in games.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Davis, 2003. "The Conception of the Individual in Non-Cooperative Game Theory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-095/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20030095
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/03095.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. John Davis & Matthias Klaes, 2003. "Reflexivity: curse or cure?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 329-352.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    4. John C. Harsanyi, 1967. "Games with Incomplete Information Played by "Bayesian" Players, I-III Part I. The Basic Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3), pages 159-182, November.
    5. Nicola Giocoli, 2001. "Fixing the point: the contribution of early game theory to the tool-box of modern economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 1-39.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conceptions of individuals; Harsanyi; games of incomplete information; fixed point theorems; Nash equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

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