# Chapter 13. Game Theory. Gaming and Strategic Decisions. Noncooperative v. Cooperative Games

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1 Chapter 13 Game Theory Gaming and Strategic Decisions Game theory tries to determine optimal strategy for each player Strategy is a rule or plan of action for playing the game Optimal strategy for a player is one that maximizes the expected payoff We consider players who are rational Chapter 13 2 Noncooperative v. Cooperative Games Cooperative Game Players negotiate binding contracts that allow them to plan joint strategies Non-cooperative Game Negotiation and enforcement of binding contracts between players is not possible Chapter 13 3

2 Dominant Strategies is one that is optimal no matter what an opponent does. Chapter 13 4 Payoff Matrix for Advertising Game Advertise Firm B Don t Advertise Advertise Don t Advertise Chapter 13 5 Dominant Strategies Equilibrium in dominant strategies Outcome of a game in which each firm is doing the best it can regardless of what its competitors are doing However, not every game has a dominant strategy for each player Chapter 13 6

3 Dominant Strategies Game Without Dominant Strategy The optimal decision of a player without a dominant strategy will depend on what the other player does. Chapter 13 7 Modified Advertising Game Advertise Firm B Don t Advertise Advertise 15, 0 Don t Advertise 6, 8 Chapter 13 8 The Nash Equilibrium Revisited A dominant strategy is stable, but in many games one or more party does not have a dominant strategy. A more general equilibrium concept is the Nash Equilibrium. A set of strategies (or actions) such that each player is doing the best it can given the actions of its opponents Chapter 13 9

4 The Nash Equilibrium Revisited None of the players have incentive to deviate from its Nash strategy, therefore it is stable In the Cournot model, each firm sets its own price assuming the other firms outputs are fixed. Cournot equilibrium is a Nash Equilibrium Chapter The Nash Equilibrium Revisited I m doing the best I can no matter what you do. You re doing the best you can no matter what I do. I m doing the best I can given what you are doing. You re doing the best you can given what I am doing. Dominant strategy is special case of Nash equilibrium Chapter The Nash Equilibrium Revisited Two cereal companies face a market in which two new types of cereal can be successfully introduced Product Choice Problem Market for one producer of crispy cereal Market for one producer of sweet cereal Noncooperative Chapter 13 12

5 Product Choice Problem Firm 2 Crispy Sweet Crispy 10, 10 Sweet 10, 10 Chapter Beach Location Game Scenario Two competitors, Y and C, selling soft drinks Beach 200 yards long Sunbathers are spread evenly along the beach Price Y = Price C Customer will buy from the closest vendor Chapter Beach Location Game Ocean C 0 B Beach A 200 yards Where will the competitors locate (i.e. where is the Nash equilibrium)? Will want to all locate in center of beach. Similar to groups of gas stations, car dealerships, etc. Chapter 13 15

6 Firm 1 The Nash Equilibrium Revisited - Scenario Two firms compete selling file-encryption software They both use the same encryption standard (files encrypted by one software can be read by the other - advantage to consumers) Firm 1 has a much larger market share than Firm 2 Both are considering investing in a new encryption standard Chapter Maximin Strategy Firm 2 Don t invest Invest Don t invest 0, 0-10, 10 Invest Chapter Maximin Strategy Observations Dominant strategy Firm 2: Invest Firm 1 should expect firm 2 to invest Nash equilibrium Firm 1: invest Firm 2: Invest This assumes firm 2 understands the game and is rational Don t invest Firm 1 Invest Firm 2 Don t invest Invest 0, 0-10, 10 Chapter 13 18

7 Maximin Strategy Observations If Firm 2 does not invest, Firm 1 incurs significant losses Firm 1 might play don t invest Minimize losses to 10 maximin strategy Don t invest Firm 1 Invest Firm 2 Don t invest Invest 0, 0-10, 10 Chapter Maximin Strategy If both are rational and informed Both firms invest Nash equilibrium If Player 2 is not rational or completely informed Firm 1 s maximin strategy is not to invest Firm 2 s dominant strategy is to invest. Chapter Prisoners Dilemma Prisoner B Confess Don t Confess Confess - 6, - 6 0, -10 Don t Confess Chapter 13 21

8 Sequential Games Players move in turn, responding to each other s actions and reactions Ex: Stackelberg model (ch. 12) Responding to a competitor s ad campaign Entry decisions Chapter Sequential Games Going back to the product choice problem Two new (sweet, crispy) cereals Successful only if each firm produces one cereal Sweet will sell better Chapter If firms both announce their decision independently and simultaneously, they will both pick sweet cereal and both will lose money What if firm 1 sped up production and introduced new cereal first Now there is a sequential game Firm 1 thinks about what firm 2 will do Chapter 13 24

9 Extensive Form of a Game Form of a Game Representation of possible moves in a game in the form of a decision tree Chapter Product Choice Game in Extensive Form Firm 1 Crispy Sweet Firm 2 Firm 2 Crispy Sweet Crispy Sweet -5, -5-5, -5 Chapter Sequential Games The Advantage of In this product-choice game, there is a clear advantage to moving first. The first firm can choose a large level of output thereby forcing second firm to choose a small level. Chapter 13 27

10 Threats, Commitments, and Credibility How To Make the First Move Demonstrate Commitment Firm 1 must do more than announcing that they will produce sweet cereal Invest in expensive advertising campaign Buy large order of sugar and send invoice to firm 2 Chapter Threats, Commitments, and Credibility If a firm will be worse off if it charges a low price, the threat of a low price is not credible in the eyes of the competitors. When firms know the payoffs of each others actions, firms cannot make threats the other firm knows they will not follow. In our example, firm 1 will always charge high price and firm 2 knows it Chapter Pricing of Computers (Firm 1) and Word Processors (Firm 2) Firm 2 High Price Low Price High Price Firm 1 Low Price 20, 0 10, 20 Chapter 13 30

11 Threats, Commitments, and Credibility Sometimes firms can make credible threats Scenario Race Car Motors, Inc. (RCM) produces cars Far Out Engines (FOE) produces specialty car engines and sells most of them to RCM Sequential game with RCM as the leader FOE has no power to threaten to build big cars since RCM controls output. Chapter Production Choice Problem Race Car Motors Small cars Big cars Small engines 3, 0 Far Out Engines Big engines 1, 1 Chapter Threats, Commitments, and Credibility RCM does best by producing small cars RCM knows that Far Out will then produce small engines Far Out prefers to make big engines Can Far Out induce Race Car to produce big cars instead? Chapter 13 33

12 Threats, Commitments, and Credibility Suppose Far Out threatens to produce big engines no matter what RCM does Not credible since once RCM announces they are producing small cars, FO will not have incentive to carry out threat. Can FOE make threat credible by altering pay off matrix by constraining its own choices? Shutting down or destroying some small engine production capacity? Chapter Modified Production Choice Problem Small cars Race Car Motors Big cars Small engines 0, 6 Far Out Engines Big engines 8, 3 Chapter Role of Reputation If Far Out gets the reputation of being irrational They threaten to produce large engines no matter what Race Car does Threat might be credible because irrational people don t always make profit maximizing decisions A party thought to be crazy can lead to a significant advantage Chapter 13 36

13 Wal-Mart Stores Preemptive Investment Strategy How did Wal-Mart become the largest retailer in the U.S. when many established retail chains were closing their doors? Gained monopoly power by opening in small town with no threat of other discount competition Preemptive game with Nash equilibrium Chapter The Discount Store Preemption Game Enter Company X Don t enter Enter -10, , 0 Wal-Mart Don t enter 0, 20 0, 0 Chapter The Discount Store Preemption Game Two Nash equilibrium Low left Upper right Must be preemptive to win Wal-Mart Enter Don t enter Company X Enter Don t enter -10, , 0 0, 20 0, 0 Chapter 13 39

14 Entry Deterrence Barriers to entry is important for monopoly power Economies of scale, patents and licenses, access to critical inputs Firms can also deter entry To deter entry, the incumbent firm must convince any potential competitor that entry will be unprofitable. Chapter Entry Possibilities Potential Entrant (\$80 fixed costs) Enter Stay out High price (accommodation) Incumbent Low Price (warfare) 70, , 0 Chapter Entry Deterrence Scenario If X does not enter I makes a profit of \$200 million. If X enters and charges a high price I earns a profit of \$100 million and X earns \$20 million. If X enters and charges a low price I earns a profit of \$70 million and X earns \$-10 million. Chapter 13 42

15 Entry Deterrence Could threaten X with warfare if X enters market? Not credible because once X has entered, it is in your best interest to accommodate and maintain high price. Chapter Entry Deterrence What if I make an investment of 50 to increase capacity before X enters? Irreversible commitment Gives new payoff matrix since profits will be reduced by investment Threat is completely credible Rational for firm X to stay out of market Chapter Entry Deterrence Enter Potential Entrant Stay out High price (accommodation) Incumbent Low Price (warfare) 70, , 0 Chapter 13 45

16 Entry Deterrence If incumbent has reputation of price cutting competitors even at loss, then threat will be credible. Short run losses may be offset by long run gains as monopolist Chapter Entry Deterrence Production of commercial airlines exhibit significant economies of scale Airbus and Boeing considering new aircraft Suppose not economical for both firms to produce the new aircraft Chapter Development of a New Aircraft Airbus Produce Don t produce Produce Boeing Don t produce 0, 120 0, 0 Chapter 13 48

17 Development of a New Aircraft Boeing has head start Boeing will produce Airbus will not produce Produce Produce Airbus Don t produce Boeing Don t produce 0, 120 0, 0 Chapter Development of a New Aircraft Governments can change outcome of game European government agrees to subsidize Airbus before Boeing decides to produce With Airbus being subsidized, the payoff matrix for the two firms would differ significantly. Chapter Development of a Aircraft After European Subsidy Produce Airbus Don t produce Produce Boeing Don t produce 0, 120 0, 0 Chapter 13 51

18 Development of a Aircraft After European Subsidy Airbus will produce Boeing will not produce Produce Airbus Don t produce Produce Boeing Don t produce 0, 120 0, 0 Chapter 13 52

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