Games with Unawareness

Date: 2012-08
By: Feinberg, Yossi (Stanford University)
We provide a tool to model and solve strategic situations where players’ perceptions are limited, in the sense that they may only be aware of, or model, some of the aspects of the strategic situations at hand, as well as situations where players realize that other players’ perceptions may be limited. We define normal, repeated, incomplete information and dynamic (extensive) form games with unawareness using a unified methodology. A game with unawareness is defined as a collection of standard games (of the corresponding form). The collection specifies how each player views the game, how she views the other players’ perceptions of the game and so on. The modeler’s description of perceptions, the players’ description of other players’ reasoning, etc. are shown to have consistent representations. We extend solution concepts such as rationalizability and Nash equilibrium to these games and study their properties. It is shown that while unawareness in normal form games can be mapped to incomplete information games, the extended Nash equilibrium solution is not mapped to a known solution concept in the equivalent incomplete information games, implying that games with unawareness generate novel types of behavior.
JEL: C72