Three steps ahead

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10 Scopus citations


We study a variant of the repeated prisoner's dilemma with uncertain horizon, in which each player chooses his foresight ability; that is, the timing in which he is informed about the realized length of the interaction. In addition, each player has an independent probability to observe the opponent's foresight ability. We show that if this probability is not too close to 0 or 1, then the game admits an evolutionarily stable strategy, in which agents who look one step ahead and agents who look three steps ahead coexist. Moreover, this is the unique evolutionarily stable strategy in which players play efficiently at early stages of the interaction. We interpret our results as a novel evolutionary foundation for limited foresight and as a new mechanism to induce cooperation in the repeated prisoner's dilemma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-241
Number of pages39
JournalTheoretical Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Yuval Heller.


  • Limit Ess
  • Limited Foresight
  • Prisoner's Dilemma


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