The Insufficiency of Game Theory for the Resolution of Real-World Collective Action Problems

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Game-theoretical analyses of the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) supergame aim to deduce the existence of wholly endogenous solutions to collective action problems. So far, however, game theory has been unable to identify a unique equilibrium solution to the PD supergame. This lack of success, together with the assumption of complete and perfect information, suggests that these purely deductive searches for endogenous solutions are insufficient for understanding collective action problems in the real world. To be of use in the social sciences, applied game theory must be oriented toward specifying the links between its abstract categories and actual social structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalRationality and Society
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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