Econometrica: Sep 2016, Volume 84, Issue 5

The Effect of Changes in Risk Attitude on Strategic Behavior

https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA13948
p. 1881-1902

Jonathan Weinstein

We study families of normal‐form games with fixed preferences over pure action profiles but varied preferences over lotteries. That is, we subject players' utilities to monotone but nonlinear transformations and examine changes in the rationalizable set and set of equilibria. Among our results: The rationalizable set always grows under concave transformations (risk aversion) and shrinks under convex transformations (risk love). The rationalizable set reaches an upper bound under extreme risk aversion, and lower bound under risk love, and both of these bounds are characterized by elimination processes. For generic two‐player games, under extreme risk love or aversion, all Nash equilibria are close to pure and the limiting set of equilibria can be described using preferences over pure action profiles.

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