Identification and Estimation of a Discrete Game of Complete Information

We discuss the identification and estimation of discrete games of complete information. Following Bresnahan and Reiss (1990, 1991), a discrete game is a generalization of a standard discrete choice model where utility depends on the actions of other players. Using recent algorithms to compute all of the Nash equilibria to a game, we propose simulation-based estimators for static, discrete games. We demonstrate that the model is identified under weak functional form assumptions using exclusion restrictions and an identification at infinity approach. Monte Carlo evidence demonstrates that the estimator can perform well in moderately sized samples. As an application, we study entry decisions by construction contractors to bid on highway projects in California. We find that an equilibrium is more likely to be observed if it maximizes joint profits, has a higher Nash product, uses mixed strategies, and is not Pareto dominated by another equilibrium.

Authors: Patrick Bajari, Han Hong, and Stephen P. Ryan

Econometrica, Vol. 78, No. 5 (September 2010), 1529–1568. (link)