Lecture 22 - Repeated games: cheating, punishment, and outsourcing

author: Benjamin Polak, Department of Economics, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Nov. 15, 2010,   recorded: September 2007,   views: 3265
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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In business or personal relationships, promises and threats of good and bad behavior tomorrow may provide good incentives for good behavior today, but, to work, these promises and threats must be credible. In particular, they must come from equilibrium behavior tomorrow, and hence form part of a subgame perfect equilibrium today. We find that the grim strategy forms such an equilibrium provided that we are patient and the game has a high probability of continuing. We discuss what this means for the personal relationships of seniors in the class. Then we discuss less draconian punishments, and find there is a trade off between the severity of punishments and the required probability that relationships will endure. We apply this idea to a moral-hazard problem that arises with outsourcing, and find that the high wage premiums found in foreign sectors of emerging markets may be reduced as these relationships become more stable.

Reading assignment:

Strategies and Games: Theory And Practice. (Dutta): Chapters 14-18

Strategy: An Introduction to Game Theory. (Watson): Chapters 22-23


Problem Set 10 [PDF]
Blackboard Notes Lecture 22 [PDF]

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