Renegotiation and Symmetry in Repeated Games

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Discussion Paper

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It seems reasonable to suppose that in repeated games in which communications is possible, play is determined through a process of negotiation and renegotiation as events unfold. In the absence of a satisfying theory of players’ bargaining power, it is unclear how to model this process. Symmetric repeated games are an important class in which the problem is less troublesome. Whatever its source, bargaining power is presumably the same for all players in a symmetric game. We take equal bargaining power to mean that a player can mount a credible objection to a continuation equilibrium in which he receives a particular expected present discounted value, if there are other self enforcing agreements that never give any player such a low continuation value after any history. This is formalized in a solution concept called consistent bargaining equilibrium.

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