Social Games: Matching and the Play of Finitely Repeated Games
41 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2005
Date Written: March 2005
We examine a new class of games, which we call social games, where players not only choose strategies but also choose with whom they play. A group of players who are dissatisfied with the play of their current partners can join together and play a new equilibrium. This imposes new refinements on equilibrium play, where play depends on the relative populations of players in different roles, among other things. We also examine finite repetitions of games where players may choose to rematch in any period. Some equilibria of fixed-player repeated games cannot be sustained as equilibria in a repeated social game. Conversely, the set of repeated matching (or social) equilibria also includes some plays that are not part of any subgame perfect equilibrium of the corresponding fixed-player repeated games. We explore existence under different equilibrium definitions, as well as the relationship to renegotiation-proof equilibrium. It is possible for repeated matching equilibria to be completely distinct from renegotiation-proof equilibria, and even to be Pareto inefficient.
Keywords: Social games, Matching, Games, Repeated games, Renegotiation
JEL Classification: A14, C71, C72, C78, J41
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