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The evolution of conventions under incomplete information


  • Hans Jorgen Jacobsen
  • Mogens Jensen
  • Birgitte Sloth


We formulate an evolutionary learning process in the spirit of Young (1993a) for games of incomplete information. The process involves trembles. For many games, if the amount of trembling is small, play will be in accordance with the games' (semi- strict) Bayesian equilibria most of the time. This supports the notion of Bayesian equilibrium. Further, often play will most of the time be in accordance with exactly one Bayesian equilibrium. This gives a selection among the Bayesian equilibria. For two specific games of economic interest we characterize this selection. The first is an extension to incomplete information of the prototype strategic conflict known as Chicken. The second is an incomplete information bilateral monopoly, which is also an extension to incomplete information of Nash's demand game, or a simple version of the so-called sealed bid double auction. For both games selection by evolutionary learning is in favor of Bayesian equilibria where some types of players fail to coordinate, such that the outcome is inefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Jorgen Jacobsen & Mogens Jensen & Birgitte Sloth, 1997. "The evolution of conventions under incomplete information," Economics Working Papers 475, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:475

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    Cited by:

    1. Cabrales, Antonio & Serrano, Roberto, 2011. "Implementation in adaptive better-response dynamics: Towards a general theory of bounded rationality in mechanisms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 360-374.
    2. Saran Rene & Serrano Roberto, 2010. "Ex-Post Regret Learning in Games with Fixed and Random Matching: The Case of Private Values," Research Memorandum 032, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    3. Saran, Rene & Serrano, Roberto, 2014. "Ex-post regret heuristics under private values (I): Fixed and random matching," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 97-111.
    4. Rene Saran & Roberto Serrano, 2007. "The evolution of bidding behavior in private-values auctions and double auctions," Working Papers 2007-10, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.

    More about this item


    Games of incomplete information; Bayesian equilibrium; evolution; learning; conventions;

    JEL classification:

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

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