Independent mistakes in large games

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Economic models usually assume that agents play precise best responses to others' actions. It is sometimes argued that this is a good approximation when there are many agents in the game, because if their mistakes are independent, aggregate uncertainty is small. We study a class of games in which players' payoffs depend solely on their individual actions and on the aggregate of all players' actions. We investigate whether their equilibria are affected by mistakes when the number of players becomes large. Indeed, in generic games with continuous payoff functions, independent mistakes wash out in the limit. This may not be the case if payoffs are discontinuous. As a counter-example we present the n players Nash bargaining game, as well as a large class of "free-rider games.".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-209
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Game Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Free rider
  • Independent mistakes
  • Large games
  • Trembles


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