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Playing for RealGame Theory$
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Ken Binmore

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300574.001.0001

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 Repeating Yourself

 Repeating Yourself

(p.319) 11 Repeating Yourself
Playing for Real

Ken Binmore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter studies games played by the same players over and over again. The strategies in repeated games are modeled as finite automata, and a version of the folk theorem is proved. This says that full cooperation can be sustained as an equilibrium outcome in a repeated situation under suitable conditions. The folk theorem is perhaps the most important result that game theory has to offer to social philosophy. Its relevance to social contract theory is briefly explored by showing how it can explain such emergent phenomena as trust, authority, and altruism. The chapter ends by drawing attention to the fact that Axelrod's claims for the strategy tit-for-tat are seriously misleading.

Keywords:   repeated game, reciprocity, David Hume, rational fool, finite automaton, grim strategy, tit-for-tat, folk theorem, Robert Aumann, social contract

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