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Stochastic Timing, Uniqueness, and Efficiency in Games


  • Suren Basov

    () (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

  • Jan Libich

    () (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

  • Petr Stehlík

    () (University of West Bohemia)


In existing game theoretic settings the timing of moves is deterministic, i.e. they occur with certainty at a pre-specified time. To add more realism we propose a framework in which, after an initial simultaneous move in time t = 0, one player gets to revise his action with positive probability at some time 0. Since the initial action of the opponent can be observed, and payoffs accrue over time, the set-up constitutes a dynamic extension of the Stackelberg leadership concept. Allowing for an arbitrary timing distribution, and using both sub game perfection and stochastic stability, we derive the necessary and sufficient conditions under which our dynamic revision game has a unique efficient outcome even if the underlying normal form game has no efficient Nash, or multiple ones. Intuitively, the fact that a player is less likely to move than the opponent may serve as a commitment device. Therefore, if the revision opportunity is expected to arrive sufficiently early then the committed players initial cost of mis-coordination or conflict will be more than compensated by ensuring his preferred outcome after the opponents revision. The framework allows, among other things, to address the issue of equilibrium selection in games in which traditional equilibrium selection approaches fail such as the Battle of the Sexes and the Game of Chicken. It also offers some insights into the debate about Pareto-dominance versus risk-dominance.

Suggested Citation

  • Suren Basov & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2010. "Stochastic Timing, Uniqueness, and Efficiency in Games," Working Papers 2010.01, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2010.01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Damme, Eric & Hurkens, Sjaak, 2004. "Endogenous price leadership," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 404-420, May.
    2. Sherrill Shaffer, 2004. "Licensing Requirements as a Coordination Mechanism for Entry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 24(3), pages 285-299, May.
    3. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    4. Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2008. "Fiscal Rigidity In A Monetary Union: The Calvo Timing And Beyond," CAMA Working Papers 2008-22, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    5. Suren Basov & Vladimir Smirnov & Andrew Wait, 2007. "Market Niche, Flexibility And Commitment," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(1), pages 122-130, January.
    6. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
    7. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    8. Joseph Farrell, 1987. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 34-39, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Libich & Dat Thanh Nguyen & Petr Stehlík, 2011. "Monetary Exit Strategy and Fiscal Spillovers," CAMA Working Papers 2011-04, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Libich, Jan & Nguyen, Dat Thanh & Stehlík, Petr, 2015. "Monetary exit and fiscal spillovers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 184-206.

    More about this item


    asynchronous moves; stochastic timing; equilibrium selection; revision; asymmetric coordination games.;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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