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Rational belief hierarchies

  • Tsakas Elias

    (METEOR)

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    We consider agents whose language can only express probabilistic beliefs that attach a rationalnumber to every event. We call these probability measures rational. We introduce the notion of arational belief hierarchy, where the first order beliefs are described by a rational measure overthe fundamental space of uncertainty, the second order beliefs are described by a rational measureover the product of the fundamental space of uncertainty and the opponent''s first order rationalbeliefs, and so on. Then, we derive the corresponding (rational) type space model, thus providinga Bayesian representation of rational belief hierarchies. Our first main result shows that thistype-based representation violates our intuitive idea of an agent whose language expresses onlyrational beliefs, in that there are rational types associated with non-rational beliefs over thecanonical state space. We rule out these types by focusing on the rational types that satisfycommon certainty in the event that everybody holds rational beliefs over the canonical statespace. We call these types universally rational and show that they are characterized by a boundedrationality condition which restricts the agents'' computational capacity. Moreover, theuniversally rational types form a dense subset of the universal type space. Finally, we show thatthe strategies rationally played under common universally rational belief in rationalitygenerically coincide with those satisfying correlated rationalizability.

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    File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:dfd24c80-5af0-420b-9b19-0f5489ea0eca/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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    Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 004.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2012004
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    1. Spiegler, Ran, 2004. "Simplicity of beliefs and delay tactics in a concession game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 200-220, April.
    2. Halpern, Joseph Y., 2001. "Alternative Semantics for Unawareness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 321-339, November.
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    4. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Topologies on types," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(3), pages 275-309, September.
    5. P. Battigalli & M. Siniscalchi, 2002. "Rationalization and Incomplete Information," Princeton Economic Theory Working Papers 9817a118e65062903de7c3577, David K. Levine.
    6. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2005. "Interactive Unawareness," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 52, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    7. Ahn, David S., 2007. "Hierarchies of ambiguous beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 286-301, September.
    8. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Friedenberg, Amanda, 2012. "Forward induction reasoning revisited," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), January.
    9. D. B. Bernheim, 2010. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior," Levine's Working Paper Archive 514, David K. Levine.
    10. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    11. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-50, July.
    12. Modica, Salvatore & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Unawareness and Partitional Information Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 265-298, May.
    13. Barton L. Lipman, 1997. "Finite Order Implications of Common Priors," Game Theory and Information 9703005, EconWPA.
    14. Halpern, Joseph Y. & Rêgo, Leandro C., 2009. "Reasoning about knowledge of unawareness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 503-525, November.
    15. Heifetz, Aviad & Samet, Dov, 1998. "Topology-Free Typology of Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 324-341, October.
    16. Brandenburger, Adam & Dekel, Eddie, 1987. "Rationalizability and Correlated Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1391-1402, November.
    17. Megiddo, Nimrod, 1989. "On computable beliefs of rational machines," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 144-169, June.
    18. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
    19. Willemien Kets, 2012. "Bounded Reasoning and Higher-Order Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 1547, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    20. Aumann, Robert & Brandenburger, Adam, 1995. "Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(5), pages 1161-80, September.
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