Working Paper BETA #2015-01

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Title : Playing the game the others want to play: Keynes’ beauty contest revisited.

Author(s) : Camille Cornand, Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira

Abstract : In Keynes’ beauty contest, agents have to choose actions in accordance with an expected fundamental value and with the conventional value expected to be set by the market. In doing so, agents respond to a fundamental and to a coordination motive respectively, the prevalence of either motive being set exogenously. Our contribution is to consider whether agents favor the fundamental or the coordination motive as the result of a strategic choice that generates a strong strategic complementarity of agents’ actions. We show that the coordination motive tends to prevail over the fundamental one, which yields a disconnection of activity away from the fundamental. A valuation game and a competition game are provided as illustrations of this general Framework.

Key-words : beauty contest, financial markets, indeterminacy, oligopolistic competition, strategic complementarities.

JEL Classification : D43, D84, E12, E44, L13.