The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Epistemic Game Theory: Beliefs and Types

  • Marciano Siniscalchi
Reference work entry


Modelling what each agent believes about her opponents, what she believes her opponents believe about her, and so on, plays a prominent role in game theory and its applications. This article describes Harsanyi’s formalism of type spaces, which provides a simple, elegant representation of probabilistic belief hierarchies. A special emphasis is placed on the construction of rich type spaces, which can generate all ‘reasonable’ belief hierarchies in a given game. Recent developments, employing richer representation of beliefs, are also considered.


Belief hierarchies Common knowledge Epistemic game theory: beliefs and types Harsanyi, J.C. Kolmogorov’s extension theorem Monotonicity Polish spaces Preferences Recursive preferences Type spaces Universal type space 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marciano Siniscalchi
    • 1
  1. 1.