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"Efficiency in Repeated Games Revisited: The Role of Private Strategies"

By Michihiro Kandori and Ichiro Obara

Abstract

Most theoretical or applied research on repeated games with imperfect monitoring has restricted attention to public strategies; strategies that only depend on history of publicly observable signals, and perfect public equilibrium (PPE); sequential equilibrium in public strategies. The present paper sheds light on the role of private strategies; strategies that depend on players' own actions in the past as well as observed public signals. Our main finding is that players can sometimes make better use of information by using private strategies and efficiency in repeated games can often be drastically improved. We illustrate this for both games with a small signal space (Anti-folk theorem example) and games with a large signal space, for which the Folk Theorem holds. Our private strategy can be regarded as a machine which consists of two states. We provide two di erent characterizations of our two-state machine equilibrium for general two-person repeated games with imperfect public monitoring.

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