Theoretical Economics, Volume 2, Number 2 (June 2007)

Theoretical Economics 2 (2007), 163–185

Valuation equilibrium

Philippe Jehiel, Dov Samet


We introduce a new solution concept for games in extensive form with perfect information, valuation equilibrium, which is based on a partition of each player's moves into similarity classes. A valuation of a player is a real-valued function on the set of her similarity classes. In this equilibrium each player's strategy is optimal in the sense that at each of her nodes, a player chooses a move that belongs to a class with maximum valuation. The valuation of each player is consistent with the strategy profile in the sense that the valuation of a similarity class is the player's expected payoff, given that the path (induced by the strategy profile) intersects the similarity class. The solution concept is applied to decision problems and multi-player extensive form games. It is contrasted with existing solution concepts. The valuation approach is next applied to stopping games, in which non-terminal moves form a single similarity class, and we note that the behaviors obtained echo some biases observed experimentally. Finally, we tentatively suggest a way of endogenizing the similarity partitions in which moves are categorized according to how well they perform relative to the expected equilibrium value, interpreted as the aspiration level.

Keywords: Game theory, bounded rationality, valuation, similarity, aspiration

JEL classification: C72, D81

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