Game Theory and Public Policy, SECOND EDITION

Game Theory and Public Policy, SECOND EDITION

Roger A. McCain

This book provides a critical, selective review of concepts from game theory and their applications in public policy, and further suggests some modifications for some of the models (chiefly in cooperative game theory) to improve their applicability to economics and public policy.

Chapter 6: Noncooperative games in extensive form and public policy

Roger A. McCain

Subjects: economics and finance, game theory, politics and public policy, public policy


In Chapters 4 and 5, our focus was on noncooperative games in strategic normal form. While (as von Neumann and Morgenstern showed) all games in extensive form can be represented in strategic normal form, to do so in general we may have to be careful to specify strategies as contingency plans. Thus, the strategic normal form will apply most naturally and with the best intuition to games in which simultaneous choices of behavior strategies must be made, such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Conversely, when some decisions must in fact be made before other decisions are made, so that subsequent decisions are made with knowledge of the earlier decisions, the game represented in extensive form may be more natural and intuitive. In this chapter we focus on the game represented in extensive form.

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