Game Theory

Yale,, Fall 2007 , Prof. Ben Polak

Updated On 02 Feb, 19


Introduction - Putting yourselves into other peoples shoes - Iterative deletion and the median-voter theorem - Best responses in soccer and business partnerships - Nash equilibrium: bad fashion and bank runs - Nash equilibrium: dating and Cournot - Nash equilibrium: shopping, standing and voting on a line - Nash equilibrium: location, segregation and randomization - Mixed strategies in theory and tennis - Mixed strategies in baseball, dating and paying your taxes - Evolutionary stability: cooperation, mutation, and equilibrium - Evolutionary stability: social convention, aggression, and cycles - Sequential games: moral hazard, incentives, and hungry lions - Backward induction: commitment, spies, and first-mover advantages - Backward induction: chess, strategies, and credible threats - Backward induction: reputation and duels - Backward induction: ultimatums and bargaining - Imperfect information: information sets and sub-game perfection -Subgame perfect equilibrium: matchmaking and strategic investments - Subgame perfect equilibrium: wars of attrition - Repeated games: cooperation vs. the end game - Repeated games: cheating, punishment, and outsourcing - Asymmetric information: silence, signaling and suffering education - Asymmetric information: auctions and the winner


Lecture 20: Subgame perfect equilibrium wars of attrition

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Lecture Details

We first play and then analyze wars of attrition; the games that afflict trench warfare, strikes, and businesses in some competitive settings. We find long and damaging fights can occur in class in these games even when the prizes are small in relation to the accumulated costs. These could be caused by irrationality or by players having other goals like pride or reputation. But we argue that long, costly fights should be expected in these games even if everyone is rational and has standard goals. We show this first in a two-period version of the game and then in a potentially infinite version. There are equilibria in which the game ends fast without a fight, but there are also equilibria that can involve long fights. The only good news is that, the longer the fight and the higher the cost of fighting, the lower is the probability of such a fight.



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Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

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Great course. Thank you very much.