IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Non-Explanatory Equilibria: An Extremely Simple Game With (Mostly) Unattainable Fixed Points

  • Joshua M. Epstein
  • Ross A. Hammond
Registered author(s):

    Equilibrium analysis pervades mathematical social science. This paper calls into question the explanatory significance of equilibrium by offering an extremely simple game, most of whose equilibria are unattainable in principle from any of its initial conditions. Moreover, the number of computation steps required to reach those (few) equilibria that are attainable is shown to grow exponentially with the number of players--making long-run equilibrium a poor predictor of the gameâs observed state. The paper also poses a number of combinatorially challenging problems raised by the model.

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 01-08-043.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Aug 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-08-043
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. John H. Nachbar, 1995. "Prediction, Optimization, and Learning in Repeated Games," Game Theory and Information 9504001, EconWPA, revised 14 Feb 1996.
    2. Dean P. Foster & H. Peyton Young, 2001. "On the Impossibility of Predicting the Behavior of Rational Agents," Working Papers 01-08-039, Santa Fe Institute.
    3. Prasad, Kislaya, 1997. "On the computability of Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 943-953, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-08-043. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.