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Thucydides on Nash vs. Stackelberg: The Importance of the Sequence of Moves in Games

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Tsebelis, George
Conference: 1989 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
Location: Atlanta, GA
Conf. Date: August
Date: 1989
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5843
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): Nash equilibrium
game theory
Abstract: "The paper provides a general characterization of the conditions in two-by-two games under which players will prefer to move first or second, or will be indifferent to the sequence of moves. The general result is that in games without a pure strategy equilibrium either there will be a struggle for the second move, or the players will agree on the sequence of play ; a struggle for the first move is characteristic of games with two pure strategy equilibria; in games with one pure strategy equilibrium, players most of the time will be indifferent about the sequence of moves. Examples from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War and other political and social situations illustrate how players manage to change the sequence of moves."

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