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Published August 7, 2017 | Submitted
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Symmetric play in repeated allocation games


We study symmetric play in a class of repeated games when players are patient. We show that, while the use of symmetric strategy profiles essentially does not restrict the set of feasible payoffs, the set of equilibrium payoffs is an interesting proper subset of the feasible and individually rational set. We also provide a theory of how rational individuals play these games, identifying particular strategies as focal through the considerations of Pareto optimality and simplicity. We report experiments that support many aspects of this theory.

Additional Information

The paper has benefited from comments by participants of seminars at University of Arizona, UC San Diego, University of Cambridge, University of Iowa, University of Konstanz, Northwestern University, University of Oxford, University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, University of Warwick, University of Wisconsin, and from conference presentations at the Second Transatlantic Theory Conference (2009), the 2010 Midwest Economic Theory Conference (MWIEG), the 2010 Canadian Theory Conference, and the April 2011 Midwest Political Science Association. Palfrey gratefully acknowledges the financial support from grants by the National Science Foundation (SES-0962802) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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