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Prudent rationalizability in generalized extensive-form games

Heifetz, Aviad and Meier, Martin and Schipper, Burkhard C (2011): Prudent rationalizability in generalized extensive-form games.

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Abstract

We define an extensive-form analogue of iterated admissibility, called Prudent Rationalizability (PR). In each round of the procedure, for each information set of a player a surviving strategy of hers is required to be rational vis-a-vis a belief system with a full-support belief on the opponents' previously surviving strategies that reach that information set. Somewhat surprisingly, prudent rationalizable strategies may not refine the set of Extensive-Form Rationalizable (EFR) strategies (Pearce 1984). However, we prove that the paths induced by PR strategy-profiles (weakly) refine the set of paths induced by EFR strategies.

PR applies also to generalized extensive-form games which model mutual unawareness of actions (Heifetz, Meier and Schipper, 2011a). We demonstrate the applicability of PR in the analysis of verifiable communication, and show that it yields the same, full information unraveling prediction as does the unique sequential equilibrium singled out by Milgrom and Roberts (1986); yet, we also show that under unawareness full unraveling might fail.

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