Econometrica: Mar 1993, Volume 61, Issue 2

Extensive Form Reasoning in Normal Form Games

https://doi.org/0012-9682(199303)61:2<273:EFRINF>2.0.CO;2-N
p. 273-302

George J. Mailath, Jeroen M. Swinkels, Larry Samuelson

Different extensive form games with the same reduced normal form can have different information sets and subgames. This generates a tension between a belief in the strategic relevance of information sets and subgames and a belief in the sufficiency of the reduced normal form. We identify a property of extensive form information sets and subgames which we term strategic independence. Strategic independence is captured by the reduced normal form, and can be used to define normal form information sets and subgames. We prove a close relationship between these normal form structures and their extensive form namesakes. Using these structures, we are able to motivate and implement solution concepts corresponding to subgame perfection, sequential equilibrium, and forward induction entirely in the reduced normal form, and show close relations between their implications in the normal and extensive form.

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