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Discerning Solution Concepts

Nail Kashaev and Bruno Salcedo

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Abstract: The empirical analysis of discrete complete-information games has relied on behavioral restrictions in the form of solution concepts, such as Nash equilibrium. Choosing the right solution concept is crucial not just for identification of payoff parameters, but also for the validity and informativeness of counterfactual exercises and policy implications. We say that a solution concept is discernible if it is possible to determine whether it generated the observed data on the players' behavior and covariates. We propose a set of conditions that make it possible to discern solution concepts. In particular, our conditions are sufficient to tell whether the players' choices emerged from Nash equilibria. We can also discern between rationalizable behavior, maxmin behavior, and collusive behavior. Finally, we identify the correlation structure of unobserved shocks in our model using a novel approach.

Date: 2019-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gth
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