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Introducing Democracy to Coalitional Games


Game theory has become very successful in modelling rational behaviour from economics to biology. In coalitional games, however, this rationality is not applied to all players to the same extent. If a coalition of players takes the initiative-depending on the precise definition of the game,-it can force the rest of the players to accept a, for them, undesirable situation, or, in other games, these may be forced to punish the deviating coalition to the maximum possible extent, even at their own cost. The pre sent proposal is to make games more democratic by correcting this asymmetry. More than a technical detail, the modification leads to new solutions to games that can give better predictions in real-life applications, or where current solutions have failed t hey may provide one.Applications to economic, political and military unions, mergers, cartels and international environmental agreements (IEAs) all belong here. The models can give recommendations on the design of IEAs that would result in more signatories , or expanding or structuring an economic union, like the European Union. New insights will be obtained about collusive behaviour in the economy helping regulators and antitrust policy makers. Our dynamic models, in particular the minimal dominant set is a new approach to situations with an inherent instability. These are exactly the situations that are not covered by the existing literature, as, until now, it was seldom possible to draw well-founded conclusions for such games. As such, our research may ope n up a whole world of possible applications to coalitional game theory.The project is executed at the Department of Economics of the University of Maastricht, in cooperation with an international group of top researchers working on a closely related projec t. The basis for this research is the researcher¿s recent PhD and one of the goal is to valorise the ideas introduced there.

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