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Muddling Through: Noisy Equilibrium Selection

  • Ken Binmore

    (University College London)

  • Larry Samuelson

    (University of Wisconsin)

We examine an evolutionary model in which the primary source of "noise" that moves the model between equilibria is not random, arbitrarily improbable mutations but mistakes in learning. We find conditions under which the payoff-dominant equilibrium in a 2x2 game is selected by the model as well as conditions under which the risk-dominant equlibrium is selected. The relevant risk-dominance considerations, however, arise not in the original game but in a "fitness game" derived from the process by which payoffs in the original game are translated into evolutionary fitnesses. We also find that waiting times until the limiting distribution is reached can be shorter than in a mutation-driven model. To explore the robustness of the results to the specification of the model, we present a number of comparative static results as well as a "two-tiered" evolutionary model in which the rules by which agents learn to play the game are themselves subject to evolutionary pressure.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9410002.

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Date of creation: 26 Oct 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9410002
Note: Three tex files; use kbmacros and larrybib in muddle.
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  1. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1996. "Case-Based Optimization," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, July.
  2. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1993. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196332, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Carlsson, H. & van Damme, E.E.C., 1993. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Other publications TiSEM 49a54f00-dcec-4fc1-9488-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391, David K. Levine.
  5. Noeldecke,Georg & Samuelson,Larry, . "An evolutionary analysis of backward and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie B 228, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  7. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  8. repec:att:wimass:9323 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:att:wimass:9324 is not listed on IDEAS
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