Find a newspaper, magazine, or book
description of a situation that you believe can be interestingly
modeled as an N-Person Prisoner's Dilemma Supergame. Make a copy
of your source to turn in with your analysis of it. Please keep
in mind that, contrary to the impression that I may have conveyed
in this course, not __every__ situation can be interestingly
modeled as an N-Person Prisoner's Dilemma Supergame. Please begin
this assignment enough in advance that, if you discover that the
case you have chosen does not fit the model well, you will have
time to find another case to model. Also, keep in mind that the
case is much less interesting if the "solution" simply
involves an agent external to the game (e.g., the state) who simply
enforces cooperation. (However, there are many interesting n-person
collective action problems that arise in the functioning of a
state.) Choose a case in which there are interesting internal
factors involved, though it is not necessary to choose a case
that in the real world has been "solved". There are
lots of interesting real-world cases. Don't get stuck with a
bad case.

Once you have chosen your case,
analyze it from the point of view of symmetrically situated, IR
agents with complete and perfect information. Your analysis must
include, at a minimum:

(a) an analysis of the sub-game,
including: (i) definitions of relevant strategies; (ii) utility
assignments to the relevant outcomes (not all possible outcomes),
with a rationale for the choice of utility assignments; and (iii)
a Schelling diagram for the relevant sub-game strategies. What
conditions are necessary for each subgame to be an N-person Prisoner's
Dilemma?

(b) an analysis of the super-game,
including: (i) definitions of relevant supergame strategies;
(ii) calculation of expected utility of relevant combinations
(not all possible combinations) of the relevant strategies (requires
some assumptions concerning a reasonable discount factor); (iii)
at least one Schelling diagram of relevant supergame strategies.
[Note that your analysis must contain at least __two__ Schelling
diagrams, one for the subgame in part (a) and one for the supergame
here.] Is there an IR solution to the supergame? Are there conditionally
cooperative Nash Equlibrium combinations of strategies in the
supergame? Explain your answers.

(c) a discussion and defense of the
assumptions that are necessary to apply your game theoretic model
to the actual situation described in your newspaper, magazine,
or book source, including a discussion of all the conditions necessary
to model your case as an N-Person Prisoner's Dilemma Supergame
in which there are Nash equilibrium combinations of conditionally
cooperative strategies.

(d) a discussion of the psychological
and socio-cultural factors that play a role, or might play a role
in the "solution" of the collective action problem you
have selected. To show that they might lead to or support a "solution"
in our sense of the word, you must show how they serve to correlate
individual strategies to produce a Nash equilibrium, or how they
make a Nash equilibrium combination more stable.

(e) Do you have any recommendations
for how the agents involved in the case you describe could do
a better job of "solving" their collective action problem,
or do the agents in the case you describe provide us with any
useful lessons or tools for "solving" other collective
action problems? Explain your answer.