Peer-Confirming Equilibrium

24 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2017  

Elliot Lipnowski

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Evan D. Sadler

Harvard University

Date Written: January 1, 2017


We can often predict the behavior of those closest to us more accurately than that of complete strangers, yet we routinely engage in strategic situations with both. Peer-confirming equilibrium describes the behavioral consequences of this intuition in a non-cooperative game. We augment a game with a network to represent strategic information: if two players are linked in the network, they have correct conjectures about each others' strategies. In peer-confirming equilibrium, there is common belief that players (i) behave rationally and (ii) correctly anticipate neighbors' play. In static games, adding links to the network always restricts the set of outcomes, but in dynamic games, the outcome set can be non-monotonic in the network as the behavior of well-connected players reduces others' strategic uncertainty. This solution concept offers alternative explanations for observed over-bidding in all-pay auctions and delineates the possible sources of miscoordination in protests and coups.

Keywords: game theory, networks, conjectural equilibrium

JEL Classification: D01, C72, D85, D74

Suggested Citation

Lipnowski, Elliot and Sadler, Evan D., Peer-Confirming Equilibrium (January 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Elliot Lipnowski

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 E. 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Evan D. Sadler (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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