Game theory strategic decision making and behavioral economics
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GAME THEORY, STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING, AND BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS. Chapter 14. Today’s lecture will:. Explain why game theory is more flexible than standard models of market behavior. Provide an example of prisoner’s dilemma game. Explain what is meant by Nash equilibrium.

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Game theory strategic decision making and behavioral economics

GAME THEORY, STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING, AND BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS

Chapter 14


Today s lecture will

Today’s lecture will:

  • Explain why game theory is more flexible than standard models of market behavior.

  • Provide an example of prisoner’s dilemma game.

  • Explain what is meant by Nash equilibrium.

  • Demonstrate how the prisoner’s dilemma can be applied to an oligopoly of two firms.


Today s lecture will1

Today’s lecture will:

  • Distinguish between a dominant strategy and a mixed strategy.

  • Give two examples of seemingly irrational behavior that behavioral economists are attempting to explain and include in their economic models.

  • Explain why the standard model remains relevant even if the findings of behavioral economists are true for many, and even most, individuals.


Game theory and the economic way of thinking

Game Theory and the Economic Way of Thinking

  • Game theory is formal economic reasoning applied to situations in which decisions are interdependent.

  • Game theory is a very flexible tool that allows us to develop more precise models of situations that involve strategic interactions.

  • Game theory models are not as broad as the standard models.


Prisoner s dilemma

Prisoner’s Dilemma

B Does Not Confess

B Confesses

A Goes Free

A 5 years

A Confesses

B 5 years

B 10 years

A 10 years

A 6 months

A Does Not

Confess

B 6 months

B Goes Free


Formal game theory assumptions

Formal Game Theory Assumptions

  • Players are fully forward looking.

  • Players always behave in a manner that gives them the highest payoff.

  • Players expect all other players to behave in the same manner.


Different games in game theory

Different Games in Game Theory

  • Cooperative games – games in which players can form coalitions and can enforce the will of the coalition on its members

  • Sequential games – players make decisions one after another, chess, for example

  • Simultaneous move games – players make their decisions at the same time as other players, for example, the prisoner’s dilemma


Strategies of players in game theory

Strategies of Players in Game Theory

  • Backward induction – you begin with a desired outcome and then determine the decisions that could have led you to that outcome

  • Dominant strategy – a strategy that is preferred by a player regardless of the opponent’s move, prisoner’s dilemma, for example

  • Mixed strategy – a strategy of choosing randomly among moves, for example, rock, paper, scissors


An example of strategy the 2 3rds game

An Example of Strategy:The 2/3rds Game

  • Each player chooses a number between 0 and 100, and the person who chooses 2/3rds of the average wins.

  • If people choose randomly, the average would be 50, 2/3rds of which is 33, so the person choosing 33 would win.

  • If other people reason the same way, and choose 33, then the winning number is 22, 2/3rds of 33.

  • If the rollback reasoning continues, the winning number gets smaller and smaller, and the Nash equilibrium is zero.


Informal game theory and behavioral economics

Informal Game Theory and Behavioral Economics

  • Informal game theory is often called behavioral game theory because it relies on empirical observation, not deductive logic alone, to determine the likely choices of individuals.

  • Informal game theory examines how people actually think and behave and is, therefore, empirically based.


Auction markets

Auction Markets

  • Standard sealed bid auction – the person who bids the highest gets the good

  • Vickrey auction – a sealed bid auction where the highest bidder wins but pays the price bid by the next highest bidder.

  • Vickrey auctions result in higher bids because people are more likely to bid their willingness to pay.


Behavioral economics

Behavioral Economics

  • Behavioral economics uses informal game theory to explore rationality and the nature of individuals’ utility functions.

  • Behavioral economists use experiments in which people actually play formal games.

  • The trust game is used to explain altruistic behavior.


The trust game

The Trust Game

  • In the trust game the first player is given $10 and the choice of keeping it all for himself or investing some portion of it, which will triple and be given to the other player.

  • The other player, the trustee, can keep the tripled amount or return some to the first player.

  • Acting purely in self-interest, the Nash equilibrium is for the first player to keep the entire $10.

  • However, experimental evidence shows that on average, individuals invest about $5 and, on average, the trustees return a little less than the investment.

  • The results suggest that people want to trust and reward trust.


Loss aversion and framing effects

Loss Aversion and Framing Effects

  • Loss aversion – preferences are not independent of endowment

  • People tend to want to keep what they have regardless of their preference before acquiring the item.

  • Framing effects – the tendency of people to base their choices on how the choice is presented

  • An early-bird special is a better advertisement than a surcharge for peak- time meals.

  • Would you choose option A of saving 200 of 600 lives or option B that will end lives of 400 of 600?


The importance of the standard model

The Importance of the Standard Model

  • Even though people don’t always act as the standard economic model predicts, the standard model and its assumptions are still relevant.

  • “Money is left on the table” by people who act irrationally to be taken by those who behave rationally.


Summary

Summary

  • Game theory is a flexible approach that is useful when decisions are interdependent.

  • In the prisoner’s dilemma game both players have a dominant strategy that leads to a jointly undesirable outcome.

  • A payoff matrix provides a summary of each player’s strategies and how the outcomes of their choices depend on the actions of the other players.


Summary1

Summary

  • A Nash equilibrium is an equilibrium of a game that results from a non-cooperative game when each player plays his or her best strategy.

  • Decisions that face a duopoly can be modeled as a prisoner’s dilemma game.

  • A dominant strategy is preferred regardless of one’s opponent’s move. A mixed strategy is choosing randomly.


Summary2

Summary

  • Behavioral economics examines deviations between formal game theoretical predictions and actual outcomes of games.

  • Loss aversion and framing effects are examples of findings in behavioral economics that challenge the standard model’s predictions.

  • The standard model remains relevant because it only takes a few people to realize that money has been left on the table for the money to be taken.


Game theory strategic decision making and behavioral economics

Ford has a rebate

Ford has no rebate

C $3

C $1.5

Chevy has a rebate

F $1.5

F $1

C $1

C $2

Chevy has no rebate

B $2

F $3 million

Suppose that Ford and Chevrolet are each considering offering a $1000 rebate

on their cars. Currently, without a rebate, they split the market evenly, and each earns profits of

$2 million per week. However, if Ford offers a rebate and Chevy doesn’t, they will win Chevy customers,

and their profits will increase to $3 million and Chevy’s will fall to $1 million. Conversely, if Chevy offers

the rebate and Ford doesn’t, Chevy profits increase to $3 million and Ford’s will fall to $1 million. If both

companies offer a rebate, neither will win new customers and profits for each will fall to $1.5 million.

Review Question 14-1: Construct a payoff matrix showing Ford (F) and Chevrolet’s strategies and

all of the outcomes.

Review Question 14-2: What is the dominant strategy?

The dominant strategy is for each firm to offer a rebate.


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