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Games, Volume 10, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Many collective action problems suffer from inefficient equilibrium outcomes if players are [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Ransomware and Reputation
Games 2019, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020026
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Ransomware is a particular form of cyber-attack in which a victim loses access to either his electronic device or files unless he pays a ransom to criminals. A criminal’s ability to make money from ransomware critically depends on victims believing that the criminal [...] Read more.
Ransomware is a particular form of cyber-attack in which a victim loses access to either his electronic device or files unless he pays a ransom to criminals. A criminal’s ability to make money from ransomware critically depends on victims believing that the criminal will honour ransom payments. In this paper we explore the extent to which a criminal can build trust through reputation. We demonstrate that there are situations in which it is optimal for the criminal to always return the files and situations in which it is not. We argue that the ability to build reputation will depend on how victims distinguish between different ransomware strands. If ransomware is to survive as a long term revenue source for criminals then they need to find ways of building a good reputation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory for Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Majority Rule in Referenda
Games 2019, 10(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020025
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Adopting the group turnout model of Herrera and Mattozzi, J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 2010, 8, 838–871, we investigate direct democracy with supermajority rule and different preference intensities for two sides of a referendum: Reform versus status quo. Two parties spend money [...] Read more.
Adopting the group turnout model of Herrera and Mattozzi, J. Eur. Econ. Assoc. 2010, 8, 838–871, we investigate direct democracy with supermajority rule and different preference intensities for two sides of a referendum: Reform versus status quo. Two parties spend money and effort to mobilize their voters. We characterize the set of pure strategy Nash equilibria. We investigate the optimal majority rule that maximizes voters’ welfare. Using an example, we show that the relationship between the optimal majority rule and the preference intensity is not monotonic—the optimal majority rule is initially decreasing and then increasing in the preference intensity of the status quo side. We also show that when the preference intensity of the status quo side is higher, the easiness to mobilize voters on the status quo side is lower, or the payoff that the reform party receives is higher, the optimal majority rule is more likely to be supermajority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy, Social Choice and Game Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
A Note on Pivotality
Games 2019, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020024
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
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Abstract
This note provides simple derivations of the equilibrium conditions for different voting games with incomplete information. In the standard voting game à la Austen-Smith and Banks (1996), voters update their beliefs, and, conditional on their being pivotal, cast their votes. However, in voting [...] Read more.
This note provides simple derivations of the equilibrium conditions for different voting games with incomplete information. In the standard voting game à la Austen-Smith and Banks (1996), voters update their beliefs, and, conditional on their being pivotal, cast their votes. However, in voting games such as those of Ellis (2016) and Fabrizi, Lippert, Pan, and Ryan (2019), given a closed and convex set of priors, ambiguity-averse voters would select a prior from this set in a strategy-contingent manner. As a consequence, both the pivotal and non-pivotal events matter to voters when deciding their votes. In this note, I demonstrate that for ambiguous voting games the conditional probability of being pivotal alone is no longer sufficient to determine voters’ best responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Games: Strategy, Persuasion, and Learning)
Open AccessArticle
Sharing a River with Downstream Externalities
Games 2019, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020023
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
We consider the problem of efficient emission abatement in a multi polluter setting, where agents are located along a river in which net emissions accumulate and induce negative externalities to downstream riparians. Assuming a cooperative transferable utility game, we seek welfare distributions that [...] Read more.
We consider the problem of efficient emission abatement in a multi polluter setting, where agents are located along a river in which net emissions accumulate and induce negative externalities to downstream riparians. Assuming a cooperative transferable utility game, we seek welfare distributions that satisfy all agents’ participation constraints and, in addition, a fairness constraint implying that no coalition of agents should be better off than it were if all non-members of the coalition would not pollute the river at all. We show that the downstream incremental distribution, as introduced by Ambec and Sprumont (2002), is the only welfare distribution satisfying both constraints. In addition, we show that this result holds true for numerous extensions of our model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theoretic Models in Natural Resource Economics)
Open AccessArticle
Indirect Evolution and Aggregate-Taking Behavior in a Football League: Utility Maximization, Profit Maximization, and Success
Games 2019, 10(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020022
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
An evolutionary model of European football was applied to analyze a two-stage indirect evolution game in which teams choose their utility function in the first stage, and their optimal talent investments in the second stage. Given the second-stage optimal aggregate-taking strategy (ATS) of [...] Read more.
An evolutionary model of European football was applied to analyze a two-stage indirect evolution game in which teams choose their utility function in the first stage, and their optimal talent investments in the second stage. Given the second-stage optimal aggregate-taking strategy (ATS) of talent investment, it was shown that teams may choose a mix of profit or win maximization as their objective, where the former is of considerably higher relevance with linear weights for profits, and is more successful in the utility function. With linear weights for profit and win maximization, maximizing profits is the only evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) of teams. The results change if quadratic weights for profits and wins are employed. With increasing talent productivity, win maximization dominates in the static and in the dynamic versions of the model. As a consequence, it is an open question whether the commercialization of football (and other sports) leagues will lead to more profit or win maximization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Ecology and Game Theory)
Open AccessArticle
Give and Let Give: Alternative Mechanisms Based on Voluntary Contributions
Games 2019, 10(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020021
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
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Abstract
We propose a new family of mechanisms, whereby players may give more or less directly to one another. A cornerstone case is the regular linear public goods mechanism (LPGM), where all contribute into a single common group account, the total amount of which [...] Read more.
We propose a new family of mechanisms, whereby players may give more or less directly to one another. A cornerstone case is the regular linear public goods mechanism (LPGM), where all contribute into a single common group account, the total amount of which is then distributed equally among players. We show that with sufficiently (yet not necessarily fully) pro-social preferences, the social optimum can be reached in Nash equilibrium in all social dilemma situations described by our mechanisms (including the LPGM). In addition, for a given heterogeneity of pro-social preferences, we help to identify which specific mechanisms perform best in terms of incentivizing giving. Our results are therefore relevant from two vantage points. One, they provide proper rational choice benchmarks based on Nash equilibrium under the assumption of other-regarding preferences. Two, they provide arguments in favor of re-structuring many collective action problems currently implemented as LPGMs when it is feasible to gain some information concerning who has concern for whom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Norm and Risk Attitudes)
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Open AccessArticle
Voting in Three-Alternative Committees: An Experiment
Games 2019, 10(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020020
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
We design an experiment to test how voters vote in a small committee election with three alternatives. Voters have common preferences that depend on an unknown state of nature. Each voter receives an imprecise private signal prior to the election and then casts [...] Read more.
We design an experiment to test how voters vote in a small committee election with three alternatives. Voters have common preferences that depend on an unknown state of nature. Each voter receives an imprecise private signal prior to the election and then casts a vote. The alternative with the most votes wins. We fix the number of voters in our experiment to be five and focus on differences in the information structure (prior and signal distributions). We test three different treatments (different prior and signal distributions) that pose different challenges for the voters. In one, simply voting for one’s signal is an equilibrium. In the other two, it is not. Despite the different levels of complexity for the voters, they come relatively close to the predicted strategies (that sometimes involve mixing). As a consequence, the efficiency of the decision is also relatively high and comes close to predicted levels. In one variation of the experiment, we calculate posterior beliefs for the subjects and post them. In another, we do not. Interestingly, the important findings do not change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy, Social Choice and Game Theory)
Open AccessArticle
Ideal Reactive Equilibrium
Games 2019, 10(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020019
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Refinements of the Nash equilibrium have followed the strategy of extending the idea of subgame perfection to incomplete information games. This has been achieved by appropriately restricting beliefs at unreached information sets. Each new refinement gives stricter and more mathematically-complicated limitations on permitted [...] Read more.
Refinements of the Nash equilibrium have followed the strategy of extending the idea of subgame perfection to incomplete information games. This has been achieved by appropriately restricting beliefs at unreached information sets. Each new refinement gives stricter and more mathematically-complicated limitations on permitted beliefs. A simpler approach is taken here, where the whole idea of beliefs is dispensed with, and a new equilibrium concept, called the ideal reactive equilibrium, that builds on some pioneering work by Amershi, Sadanand and Sadanand on thought process dynamics, is developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy, Social Choice and Game Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Behavior in Strategic Settings: Evidence from a Million Rock-Paper-Scissors Games
Games 2019, 10(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020018
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
We make use of data from a Facebook application where hundreds of thousands of people played a simultaneous move, zero-sum game—rock-paper-scissors—with varying information to analyze whether play in strategic settings is consistent with extant theories. We report three main insights. First, we observe [...] Read more.
We make use of data from a Facebook application where hundreds of thousands of people played a simultaneous move, zero-sum game—rock-paper-scissors—with varying information to analyze whether play in strategic settings is consistent with extant theories. We report three main insights. First, we observe that most people employ strategies consistent with Nash, at least some of the time. Second, however, players strategically use information on previous play of their opponents, a non-Nash equilibrium behavior; they are more likely to do so when the expected payoffs for such actions increase. Third, experience matters: players with more experience use information on their opponents more effectively than less experienced players, and are more likely to win as a result. We also explore the degree to which the deviations from Nash predictions are consistent with various non-equilibrium models. We analyze both a level-k framework and an adapted quantal response model. The naive version of each these strategies—where players maximize the probability of winning without considering the probability of losing—does better than the standard formulation. While one set of people use strategies that resemble quantal response, there is another group of people who employ strategies that are close to k 1; for naive strategies the latter group is much larger. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Routing-Proofness in Congestion-Prone Networks
Games 2019, 10(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020017
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
We consider the problem of sharing the cost of connecting a large number of atomless agents in a network. The centralized agency elicits the target nodes that agents want to connect, and charges agents based on their demands. We look for a cost-sharing [...] Read more.
We consider the problem of sharing the cost of connecting a large number of atomless agents in a network. The centralized agency elicits the target nodes that agents want to connect, and charges agents based on their demands. We look for a cost-sharing mechanism that satisfies three desirable properties: efficiency which charges agents based on the minimum total cost of connecting them in a network, stand-alone core stability which requires charging agents not more than the cost of connecting by themselves directly, and limit routing-proofness which prevents agents from profitable reporting as several agents connecting from A to C to B instead of A to B. We show that these three properties are not always compatible for any set of cost functions and demands. However, when these properties are compatible, a new egalitarian mechanism is shown to satisfy them. When the properties are not compatible, we find a rule that meets stand-alone core stability, limit routing-proofness and minimizes the budget deficit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative OR Games and Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Peer and Sorting Effects within an Adaptive Multiplex Network Model
Games 2019, 10(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020016
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
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Abstract
Individuals have a strong tendency to coordinate with all their neighbors on social and economics networks. Coordination is often influenced by intrinsic preferences among the available options, which drive people to associate with similar peers, i.e., homophily. Many studies reported that behind coordination [...] Read more.
Individuals have a strong tendency to coordinate with all their neighbors on social and economics networks. Coordination is often influenced by intrinsic preferences among the available options, which drive people to associate with similar peers, i.e., homophily. Many studies reported that behind coordination game equilibria there is the individuals’ heterogeneity of preferences and that such heterogeneity is given a priori. We introduce a new mechanism which allows us to analyze the issue of heterogeneity from a cultural evolutionary point of view. Our framework considers agents interacting on a multiplex network who deal with coordination issues using social learning and payoff-driven dynamics. Agents form their heterogeneous preference through learning on one layer and they play a pure coordination game on the other layer. People learn from their peers that coordination is good and they also learn how to reach it either by conformism behavior or sorting strategy. We find that the presence of the social learning mechanism explains the rising and the endurance of a segregated society when members are diverse. Knowing how culture affects the ability to coordinate is useful for understanding how to reach social welfare in a diverse society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Games on Networks: From Theory to Experiments)
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