New Directions for Modelling Strategic Behavior: Game-theoretic Models of Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation in Economic Relationships

Oct 2016

Journal of Economic Perspectives 30(4), 131–150

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.30.4.131

Vincent Crawford

In this paper, I discuss the state of progress in applications of game theory in economics and try to identify possible future developments that are likely to yield further progress. To keep the topic manageable, I focus on a canonical economic problem that is inherently game-theoretic, that of fostering efficient coordination and cooperation in relationships, with particular attention to the role of communication. I begin with an overview of noncooperative game theory's principal model of behavior, Nash equilibrium. I next discuss the alternative "thinking" and "learning" rationales for how real-world actors might reach equilibrium decisions. I then review how Nash equilibrium has been used to model coordination, communication, and cooperation in relationships, and discuss possible developments.