Social Games: Matching and the Play of Finitely Repeated Games

41 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2005

See all articles by Matthew O. Jackson

Matthew O. Jackson

Stanford University - Department of Economics; Santa Fe Institute; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Alison C. Watts

Southern Illinois University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Matthew O. and Watts, Alison C., Social Games: Matching and the Play of Finitely Repeated Games (March 2005). FEEM Working Paper No. 38.05; Caltech Working Paper No. 1212. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=688350 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.688350

Matthew O. Jackson (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
1-650-723-3544 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jacksonm

Santa Fe Institute

1399 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) ( email )

180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Alison C. Watts

Southern Illinois University - Department of Economics ( email )

Carbondale, IL 62901
United States

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