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A Theory of Focal Points

Robert Sugden
The Economic Journal
Vol. 105, No. 430 (May, 1995), pp. 533-550
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
DOI: 10.2307/2235016
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2235016
Page Count: 18
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A Theory of Focal Points
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Abstract

The paper presents a theoretical framework which distinguishes between the strategic structure of a game (the `existential game') and the way the players describe the game to themselves. Each player works with a private description of the game, in which strategies are identified by labels; labels are generated by a stochastic labelling procedure. Each player chooses a decision rule which, for each possible private description, picks one of the available strategy labels. A criterion of collective rationality is applied to choices among decision rules. The implications of collective rationality are explored for a range of games with different labelling procedures.

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