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Linking Strategic Interaction and Bargaining Theory. The Harsanyi - Schelling Debate on the Axiom of Symmetry

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  • Alessandro Innocenti

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Abstract

This paper analyses the early contributions of John Harsanyi and Thomas C. Schelling to bargaining theory. In his work, Harsanyi (1956) draws Nash’s solution to two-person cooperative games from the bargaining model proposed by Zeuthen (1930). Whereas Schelling (1960) proposes a multi-faceted theory of conflict that, without dismissing the assumption of rational behaviour, points out some of its paradoxical consequences. Harsanyi and Schelling’s contrasting views on the axiom of symmetry, as postulated by Nash (1950), are then presented. The analysis of this debate illustrates that, although in the early 1960s two different approaches to link strategic interaction and bargaining theory were proposed, only Harsanyi’s insights were fully developed later. Lastly, the causes of this evolution are assessed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Innocenti, 2005. "Linking Strategic Interaction and Bargaining Theory. The Harsanyi - Schelling Debate on the Axiom of Symmetry," Department of Economics University of Siena 468, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Kreps, David M., 1990. "Game Theory and Economic Modelling," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283812.
    3. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
    4. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, April.
    5. Nicola Giocoli, 2004. "Nash Equilibrium," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 36(4), pages 639-666, Winter.
    6. Robert J. Leonard, 1992. "Reading Cournot, Reading Nash / or / The Emergence and Stabilization of the Nash equilibrium," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9214, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    7. Harsanyi, John C, 1995. "Games with Incomplete Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 291-303, June.
    8. anonymous, 1961. "Book Reviews," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(1), pages 109-112, October.
    9. Binmore, Ken & Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1992. "Noncooperative models of bargaining," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.),Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 179-225, Elsevier.
    10. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
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    12. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 427-460, July.
    13. anonymous, 1961. "Book Reviews," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(3), pages 316-322, April.
    14. Myerson, Roger, 2001. "Learning Game Theory from John Harsanyi," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 20-25, July.
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    17. Leonard, Robert J, 1994. "Reading Cournot, Reading Nash: The Creation and Stabilisation of the Nash Equilibrium," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 492-511, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," TSE Working Papers 11-274, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Pope, Devin G. & Pope, Jaren C. & Sydnor, Justin R., 2015. "Focal points and bargaining in housing markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 89-107.
    3. Correa Romar, 2014. "Mathematical Foci," Mathematical Economics Letters, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1-2), pages 1-7, August.
    4. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2011. "An Experiment on Prisoner’s Dilemma with Confirmed Proposals," LERNA Working Papers 11.23.357, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    5. Bolton, Gary E. & Karagözoğlu, Emin, 2016. "On the influence of hard leverage in a soft leverage bargaining game: The importance of credible claims," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 164-179.
    6. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Montesano, Aldo, 2010. "Non-cooperative games with chained confirmed proposals," TSE Working Papers 10-192, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Alessandro Innocenti, 2008. "How can a psychologist inform economics? The strange case of Sidney Siegel," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0808, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
    8. Innocenti, Alessandro, 2010. "How a psychologist informed economics: The case of Sidney Siegel," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 421-434, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bargaining; game theory; symmetry;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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