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Hidden Symmetries and Focal Points

  • Carlos Alós-Ferrer
  • Christoph Kuzmics

This paper provides a general formal framework to define and analyze the concepts of focal points and frames for normal form games. The information provided by a frame is captured by a symmetry structure which is consistent with the payoff structure of the game. The set of alternative symmetry structures has itself a clear structure (a lattice). Focal points are strategy profiles which respect the symmetry structure and are chosen according to some meta-norm, which is not particular to the framed game at hand. We also clarify the difference between different concepts of symmetry used in the literature.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 35.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0035
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  1. Blume, Andreas & Gneezy, Uri, 2010. "Cognitive forward induction and coordination without common knowledge: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 488-511, March.
  2. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  3. Maarten Janssen, 2001. "Rationalizing Focal Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 119-148, March.
  4. Blume, Andreas, 2000. "Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-36, November.
  5. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
  6. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "The evolution of focal points," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 21-42, April.
  7. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  8. Casajus, Andre, 2000. "Focal Points in Framed Strategic Forms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 263-291, August.
  9. Mehta, Judith & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1994. "The Nature of Salience: An Experimental Investigation of Pure Coordination Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 658-73, June.
  10. Aumann, Robert & Brandenburger, Adam, 1995. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1161-80, September.
  11. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
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