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The strategy of conflict and cooperation

Research output: Working paper

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
Unpublished21 Aug 2018

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Abstract

The story of conflict and cooperation has started millions of years ago, and now it is everywhere: In biology, computer science, economics, political science, and psychology. Examples include wars, airline alliances, trade, oligopolistic cartels, the evolution of species and genes, and team sports. However, neither cooperative games nor non-cooperative games—in which "each player acts independently without collaboration with any of the others" (Nash, 1951)—fully capture the competition between and across individuals and groups, and the strategic partnerships that give rise to such groups. Thus, one needs to extend the non-cooperative framework to study strategic games like scientific publication, which is a rather competitive game, yet (strategic) collaboration is widespread. In this paper, I propose, to the best of my knowledge, the first solution to the long-standing open problem of strategic cooperation first identified by von Neumann (1928). I introduce the equilibrium system solution in coalitional strategic games in which players are free to cooperate to coordinate their actions or act independently. Coalitional strategic games unify the study of strategic competition as well as cooperation including logrolling and corruption which have been studied in specific frameworks.

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