Game theory is both at the heart of economics and without a definitive solution. This paper proposes a solution. It is argued that a dominance criterion generates a, and perhaps the, generalized equilibrium solution for game theory. First we provide a set theoretic perspective from which to view game theory, and then present and discuss the proposed solution.
A simple model of backed money without a store of value function is presented, discussed, and defended. The function of money in the model is to replace complex contingent contracts traded on a centralized exchange with simple trades in decentralized markets.
A new approach to market behavior is suggested. This approach has a coherent game theoretic foundaton, addresses such anomalous economic behaviors as strikes, rigid wages and unemployment, regulation of financial markets, depresssion, and nonmarket allocation, and, more generally, provides insights for Finance, Oligopoly Theory, Industrial Organization, and Macroeconomics. The central theme of the approach is that exchange technologies are a basic building block in a model, as are tastes, endowments, and production technologies. Moreover, the key feature of an institution of exchange is that it allows the making of a binding final offer.
A model is presented in which demand deposits backed by fractional currency reserves and public insurance can be beneficial. The model uses Samuelson's pure consumption-loans model. The case for demand deposits, reserves, and deposit insurance rests on costs of illiquidity and incomplete information. The effect of deposit insurance depends upon how, and at what cost, the government meets its insurer's obligation--something which is not specified in practice. It remains possible that demand deposits and deposit insurance are a distortion, and reserve requirements serve only to limit the size of this distortion.
Game theory addresses a problem which is central to economics. Yet, according to the folklore of economics, game theory has failed. This paper argues that this is an incorrect interpretation of the game theory literature. When faced with a well-posed problem, game theory provides a solution. Procedures for facing game theory with well-posed problems are suggested, and examples of economic applications provided. The applications are Samuelson's fiat money model, Phelps' capital overaccumulation problem, multiple rational expectations equilibria, and a bargaining problem.
The determination of the mechanism for ordering strategies in a game theoretic conflict is the keystone of economic science, at least insofar as economics is to remain an outgrowth of that (otherwise relatively minor) school of English philosophy, Utilitarianism. A method for the solution of the general game is presented in this paper, and the implications for economic theorizing discussed.
In "Open Market Operations in a Model of Regulated, Insured Intermediaries" [JPE, forthcoming] we show that once-for-all open market purchases need not be inflationary. Here we show this result can carry over to various stationary accommodation rules given stochastic deficits. In particular, the inflationary and deflationary effects of stochastic deficits are not offset by, nor welfare improved by, a monetary policy that leans toward monetarism. Moreover, a constant money growth rule is not in the class of stationary policies given the kind of stochastic deficit we analyze, which by itself is a serious indictment of the monetarist proposal.