Global Games: Theory and Applications

by Hyun Song Shin and Stephen Morris

Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1275R. 2001.


Global games are games of incomplete information whose type space is determined by the players each observing a noisy signal of the underlying state. With strategic complementarities, global games often have a unique, dominance solvable equilibrium, allowing analysis of a number of economic models of coordination failure. For symmetric binary action global games, equilibrium strategies in the limit (as noise becomes negligible) are simple to characterize in terms of 'diffuse' beliefs over the actions of others. We describe a number of economic applications that fall in this category. We also explore the distinctive roles of public and private information in this setting, review results for general global games, discuss the relationship between global games and a literature on higher order beliefs in game theory and describe the relationship to local interaction games and dynamic games with payoff shocks.