History as a coordination device

Rossella Argenziano*, Itzhak Gilboa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Coordination games often have multiple equilibria. The selection of equilibrium raises the question of belief formation: how do players generate beliefs about the behavior of other players? This article takes the view that the answer lies in history, that is, in the outcomes of similar coordination games played in the past, possibly by other players. We analyze a simple model in which a large population plays a game that exhibits strategic complementarities.We assume a dynamic process that faces different populations with such games for randomly selected values of a parameter.We introduce a belief formation process that takes into account the history of similar games played in the past, not necessarily by the same population.We show that when history serves as a coordination device, the limit behavior depends on the way history unfolds, and cannot be determined from a-priori considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-512
Number of pages12
JournalTheory and Decision
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


FundersFunder number
European Commission-DG Research Sixth Framework Programme
Seventh Framework Programme269754
European Research CouncilCIT-2-CT-2004-506084
Israel Science Foundation396/10, 975/03


    • Belief formation
    • Coordination games
    • Equilibrium selection
    • Similarity


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