Lancaster Game Theory Conference 2020

Friday 6 November 2020, 3:00pm to 6:00pm


Online via ZOOM

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Postgraduates, Prospective International Students, Prospective Postgraduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

To register your place, please visit Eventbrite.

Event Details

The Department of Economics is delighted to host the 6th Lancaster Game Theory Conference.

The conference (LGTC2020) will be held as a virtual event on 6th November and has been organised by Alexander Matros and Sonali SenGupta.

The keynote speakers include:

Matthew O.Jackson (Stanford University): The Role of Referrals in Inequality, Immobility, and Inefficiency in Labor Markets (with Lukas Bolte, Nicole Immorlica, Stanford University)

We study labor markets in which firms can hire either via referrals or open applications. Referrals screen candidates and lead to better matches and increased productivity, but disadvantage workers who apply via open applications. We identify conditions under which distributing referrals more evenly across a population not only reduces inequality, but also increases productivity and also improves economic mobility across generations. We use the model to examine optimal policies, showing that one-time affirmative action policies have long-term impacts due to induced changes in future referrals. We also show how the possibility of firing workers improves hiring and lowers inequality.

Herve Moulin (University of Glasgow and HSE University): Universal Guarantees in Bargaining (with Anna Bogomolnaia)

In the n-person bargaining model, the familiar Mid-point Domination property guarantees my worst utility if I have a 1n-th chance of dictating the outcome. Another natural Guarantee gives to each participant the right to veto her fair share of outcomes. Yet another sets the disagreement utility at the arithmetic average of all outcomes. Maintaining equal treatment of agents and outcomes, and vNM utilities, the set of such Guarantees is of infinite dimension even with two agents and three outcomes. The natural subset of rank-additive Guarantees is of finite dimension, and in two-agent problems it boils down to the convex combinations of the veto Guarantees above. But more complicated options are feasible among three or more agents.

Herakles Polemarchakis (University of Warwick): Bayesian dialogs

Eventual consensus is the only property of a bayesian dialog. At each stage, one of two interlocutors states his beliefs formed after the revision prompted by the beliefs stated by the other at the previous stage. The dialog terminates when nothing is left to be said. A third party with access only to the transcript of a dialog, cannot distinguish a bayesian dialog from an arbitrary sequence of alternating utterances that terminates with agreement. Equivalently, two rational individuals who learn form each other and will eventually agree, can hold different and divergent beliefs for any number of rounds of communication prior to consensus.

Eyal Winter (Lancaster University and Hebrew University): On Stars and Galaxies: Exploiting Social Influence in Networks (with Vlad Nora, Nazarbayev University)

A principal wishes to induce an action from a group of agents that belong to a social network. Each agent’s social benefit from taking the action increases with any additional friend/link who takes the action. In addition to the social benefits, the principal offers external rewards to agents in order to sustain a unique Nash equilibrium in which all agents take the action. Our first result solves for the optimal influence mechanism that minimises the principal’s expanses. We show that in an optimal mechanism popular agents (with a high numbers of friends) receive a preferential treatment by the principal. In the second part of the paper, we characterise those network architectures that are most favourable for the principal to induce action. A Galaxy partitions the set of the network’s nodes into two sets, stars and periphery, with every star being linked to all nodes, and every periphery node being linked only to stars. We show that, in general, a galaxy is such a network. We discuss the implication of this finding in terms of the optimal policies of companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to affect the architecture of the networks they control.

This is the schedule for the conference:

15:00 Dean's Welcome

15:05 Herve Moulin

15:50 Eyal Winter

16:35 Herakles Polemarchakis

17:20 Matthew Jackson

18:00 Thanks

We look forward to seeing you there!

For programme details of the last five years of the conference, follow links below:

  • LGTC2019
  • LGTC2018
  • LGTC2017
  • LGTC2016
  • LGTC2015
  • If you would like any further details, please contact Caren Wareing:

    Contact Details

    Name Caren Wareing