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Population Games


  • Lawrence Blume

    (Cornell University and the Santa Fe Institute)


Population games are stochastic processes which explicitly model Nash's (1950) mass action interpretation of Nash equilibrium. The mass action interpretation envisions a population of players for each position in the game, and that players are randomly matched for play. The hope is that the long-run behavior of the processes can be described by a Nash equilibrium. Recent analyses of these population processes finds that sometimes this hope is realized, and sometimes not. Moreover, when it is realized, some Nash equilibria are favored over others. This paper surveys the new literature on poulation games, and discusses the application of population game techniques to strategic situations other than $N$-player random-matching population games.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence Blume, 1996. "Population Games," Game Theory and Information 9607001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9607001
    Note: Type of Document - Postscript File; prepared on a Sun, TeX 3.1415; to print on Postscript; pages: 33 + ii; figures: included.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Young H. P., 1993. "An Evolutionary Model of Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 145-168, February.
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    1. Kandori, Michihiro & Serrano, Roberto & Volij, Oscar, 2008. "Decentralized trade, random utility and the evolution of social welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 328-338, May.
    2. Durieu, Jacques & Haller, Hans & Solal, Philippe, 2005. "Interaction on Hypergraphs," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-34, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    3. Mäs, Michael & Nax, Heinrich H., 2016. "A behavioral study of “noise” in coordination games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 195-208.
    4. Andriy Zapechelnyuk, 2009. "Limit Behavior of No-regret Dynamics," Discussion Papers 21, Kyiv School of Economics.
    5. Hofbauer, Josef & Sandholm, William H., 2007. "Evolution in games with randomly disturbed payoffs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 47-69, January.
    6. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Netzer, Nick, 2010. "The logit-response dynamics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 413-427, March.
    7. Sylvain Barde, 2009. "The Google thought experiment: rationality, information and equilibrium in an exchange economy," Sciences Po publications 2009-34, Sciences Po.
    8. Steven N. Durlauf, 1996. "Statistical Mechanics Approaches to Socioeconomic Behavior," NBER Technical Working Papers 0203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Morris, Stephen & Ui, Takashi, 2005. "Generalized potentials and robust sets of equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 45-78, September.
    10. Sandholm, William H., 2007. "Pigouvian pricing and stochastic evolutionary implementation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 367-382, January.
    11. Sandholm, William H., 2001. "Potential Games with Continuous Player Sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 81-108, March.
    12. Durlauf, S.N., 1997. "Rational Choice and the Study of Science," Working papers 9709r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    13. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
    14. Dave Colander, 2008. "Complexity, Pedagogy and the Economics of Muddling Through," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0805, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    15. Hofbauer,J. & Sandholm,W.H., 2001. "Evolution and learning in games with randomly disturbed payoffs," Working papers 5, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    16. Pancs, Romans & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2007. "Schelling's spatial proximity model of segregation revisited," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 1-24, February.
    17. Roland Pongou & Roberto Serrano, 2009. "A Dynamic Theory of Fidelity Networks with an Application to the Spread of HIV / AIDS," Working Papers wp2009_0909, CEMFI.
    18. Ely,J.C. & Sandholm,W.H., 2000. "Evolution with diverse preferences," Working papers 5, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    19. Jacques Durieu & Hans Haller & Philippe Solal, 2011. "Nonspecific Networking," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, February.
    20. Okada, Daijiro & Tercieux, Olivier, 2012. "Log-linear dynamics and local potential," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1140-1164.
    21. Jacques Durieu & Hans Haller & Philippe Solal, 2004. "Nonspecific Networking," Game Theory and Information 0403005, EconWPA.
    22. Rambha, Tarun & Boyles, Stephen D., 2016. "Dynamic pricing in discrete time stochastic day-to-day route choice models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 92(PA), pages 104-118.
    23. Jean Louis Dessalles & Denis Phan, 2005. "Emergence in multi-agent systems:Cognitive hierarchy, detection, and complexity reduction," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 257, Society for Computational Economics.

    More about this item


    game theory; evolution; Nash equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


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