nep-gth New Economics Papers
on Game Theory
Issue of 2007‒04‒14
ten papers chosen by
Laszlo A. Koczy
University of Maastricht

  1. The evolution of bidding behavior in private-values auctions and double auctions By Rene Saran; Roberto Serrano
  2. Repeated Auctions with the Right of First Refusal and Asymmetric Information By Hayley Chouinard; Jonathan Yoder
  3. Learning to Forgive By Thomas W.L. Norman
  4. The Possible and the Impossible in Multi-Agent Learning By H. Peyton Young
  5. Rapid Evolution under Inertia By Thomas W.L. Norman
  6. Twofold Optimality of the Relative Utilitarian Bargaining Solution By Pivato, Marcus
  7. Optimal Risk Taking in an Uneven Tournament Game with Risk Averse Players By Matthias Kräkel
  8. Qualitative Voting By Rafael Hortala-Vallve
  9. Distributional effects in household models: separate spheres and income pooling By Martin Browing; Pierre-Andre Chiappori; Valerie Lechene
  10. Quelques resultats sur l`effet des transferts cibles By Martin Browing; Pierre-Andre Chiappori; Valerie Lechene

  1. By: Rene Saran (Brown University); Roberto Serrano (Brown University & IMDEA)
    Abstract: We apply stochastic stability to study the evolution of bidding behavior in private-values second-price, first-price and k-double auctions. The learning process has a strong component of inertia but with a small probability, the bids are modified in the direction of ex-post regrets. We identify essentially a unique bid that will be used by each type in the long run. In the second-price auction, this is the truthful bid. In the first-price auction, bidding half of one’s valuation is stable. The stable bid in the k-double auction is a toughening of the Chatterjee-Samuelson linear equilibrium strategy. If we add a friction in changing one’s bid, then truth-telling behavior is also obtained in the first-price and k-double auctions. Intuitively, the stochastically stable bid minimizes the maximal regret.
    Keywords: stochastic stability; ex-post regret; second-price auction; first-price auction; k-double auction
    JEL: C73 C78 D44 D83
    Date: 2007–04–10
  2. By: Hayley Chouinard; Jonathan Yoder (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes a set of Nash equilibria in a first-price sealed-bid auction with the right of first refusal using two bidders and asymmetric information regarding the bidders’ value distributions. The equilibria for multiple bidders and a more general value distribution are also presented
    Keywords: repeated auction; right of first refusal; asymmetric information
    JEL: C72 D44 D82
    Date: 2006–06
  3. By: Thomas W.L. Norman
    Abstract: The Folk Theorem for infinitely repeated games offers an embarrassment of riches; nowhere is equilibrium multiplicity more acute. This paper selects amongst these equilibria in the following sense. If players learn to play an infinitely repeated game using classical hypothesis testing, it is known that their strategies almost always approximate equilibria of the repeated game. It is shown here that if, in addition, they are sufficiently "conservative" in adopting their hypotheses, then almost all of the time is spent approximating an efficient subset of equilibria that share a "forgiving" property. This result provides theoretical justification for the general sense amongst practitioners that efficiency is focal in such games.
    Keywords: Repeated Games, Folk Theorem, Learning, Hypothesis Testing, Equilibrium Selection
    JEL: C72 C12
    Date: 2006
  4. By: H. Peyton Young
    Abstract: The paper surveys recent work on learning in games and delineates the boundary between forms of learning that lead to Nash equilibrium and forms that lead to weaker notions of equiibrium (or none at all).
    Keywords: Equilibrium, Learning, Dynamics
    JEL: C7 D83
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Thomas W.L. Norman
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that inertia driven by switching costs leads to more rapid evolution in a class of games that includes m x m pure coordination games. Under the best-response dynamic and a fixed rate of mutation, the expected waiting time to reach long-run equilibrium is of lower order in the presence of switching costs, due to the creation of new absorbing "inertia" states that allow Ellison`s (Review of Economic Studies 67, 2000, 17-45) "step-by-step" evolution to occur.
    Keywords: Evolution, Mutations, Long-run Equilibrium, Waiting Times, Inertia, Switching Costs
    JEL: C72 C73
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Pivato, Marcus
    Abstract: Given a bargaining problem, the `relative utilitarian' (RU) solution maximizes the sum total of the bargainer's utilities, after having first renormalized each utility function to range from zero to one. We show that RU is `optimal' in two very different senses. First, RU is the maximal element (over the set of all bargaining solutions) under any partial ordering which satisfies certain axioms of fairness and consistency; this result is closely analogous to the result of Segal (2000). Second, RU offers each person the maximum expected utility amongst all rescaling-invariant solutions, when it is applied to a random sequence of future bargaining problems which are generated using a certain class of distributions; this is somewhat reminiscent of the results of Harsanyi (1953) and Karni (1998).
    Keywords: relative utilitarian; bargaining solution; impartial observer
    JEL: D63 D71
    Date: 2007–04–09
  7. By: Matthias Kräkel (Department of Economics, BWL II, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24-42, D-53113 Bonn. Tel: +49-228-739211, Fax: +49-228-739210, Germany, e-mail:
    Abstract: We analyze the optimal choice of risk in a two-stage tournament game between two players that have different concave utility functions. At the first stage, both players simultaneously choose risk. At the second stage, both observe overall risk and simultaneously decide on effort or investment. The results show that those two effects which mainly determine risk taking — an effort effect and a likelihood effect — are strictly interrelated. This finding sharply contrasts with existing results on risk taking in tournament games with symmetric equilibrium efforts where such linkage can never arise. Hence, previous findings based on symmetry at the effort stage turn out to be nongeneric.
    Keywords: asymmetric equilibria, rank-order tournaments, risk taking
    JEL: C72 J3 L1 M5
    Date: 2007–04
  8. By: Rafael Hortala-Vallve
    Abstract: Can we devise mechanisms that allow voters to express the intensity of their preferences when monetary transfers are forbidden? Would we then be able to take account of how much voters wish the approval or dismissal of any particular issue? In such cases, would some minorities be able to decide over those issues they feel very strongly about? As opposed to the classical voting system (one person - one decision - one vote), we propose a new voting system where each agent is endowed with a fixed number of votes that can be distributed freely between a predetermined number of issues that must be approved or dismissed. Its novelty relies on allowing voters to express the intensity of their preferences in a simple manner. This voting system is optimal in a well-defined sense: in a setting with two voters, two issues and preference intensities uniformly and independently distributed across possible values, Qualitative Voting Pareto dominates Majority Rule and, moreover, achieves the only ex-ante optimal (incentive compatible) allocation. The result also holds true with three voters as long as the voters preferences towards the issue differ sufficiently.
    Keywords: Voting, Intensity Problem, Alternatives to Majority Rule, Conflict Resolution
    JEL: C72 D70 P16
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Martin Browing; Pierre-Andre Chiappori; Valerie Lechene
    Abstract: We derive distributional effects for a non-cooperative alternative to the unitary model of household behaviour. We consider the Nash equilibria of a voluntary contributions to public goods game. Our main result is that, in general, the two partners either choose to contribute to different public goods or they contribute to at most one common good. The former case coresponds to the separate spheres case of Lundberg and Pollak (1993). The second outcome yields (local) income pooling. A household will be in different regimes depending on the distribution of income within the household. Any bargaining model with this non-cooperative case as a breakdown point will inherit the local income pooling. We conclude that targeting benefits such as child benefits to one household member may not always have an effect on outcomes.
    Keywords: Nash Equilibrium, Nash Bargaining, Collective Models, Intra-Household Allocation
    JEL: D10 C71 C72
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Martin Browing; Pierre-Andre Chiappori; Valerie Lechene
    Abstract: Allocations familiales et autres transferts cibles sont generalement verses aux meres, sur la base de l`observation qu`augmenter la part des ressources controlees par les meres conduit a ameliorer le bien-etre des enfants. Nous recensons un ensemble de resultats empiriques qui etablisent le bien-fonde de ces mesures. Nous contrastons ensuite les predictions theoriques des principales alternatives au modele standard de comportement des menages, le modele unitaire. Ceci permet d`etablir que l`effet predit des transferts depend des preferences individuelles et du pouvoir des membres du menage, mais aussi crucialement de la forme des interactions dans le menage.
    Keywords: Transferts Cibles, Equilibre de Nash, Modele Collectif, Solution de Nash, Allocation Intra-Familiale, Mise en Commun des Ressources, Spheres Separees
    JEL: D10 C71 C72
    Date: 2006

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