ScenarioAs described by William Poundstone, imagine that you notice that electricity has gone out for your entire neighborhood. The electric company will send someone to fix the problem as long as at least one person calls to notify them, at some cost. Do you bother making the call?
This is a multiplayer version of the game of chicken, where "volunteering" is akin to swerving. If no one volunteers, the worst possible outcome is obtained. If any one person elects to volunteer, the rest benefit by not doing so.
If there are N players, then there are N pure strategy equilibria, with one person volunteering in each. A different pure strategy equilibrium is preferred by each player. All equilibria are Pareto optimal and Hicks optimal.
|at least one volunteers||no one calls|
|L (at least one)||R|
updated: 22 August 2006
updated: 12 August 2005
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© Mike Shor 2001-2006