Coordination and equilibrium selection in games: the role of local effects Articles uri icon



publication date

  • March 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 16


  • 3373


  • 12

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322


  • We study the role of local effects and finite size effects in reaching coordination and in equilibrium selection in two-player coordination games. We investigate three update rules - the replicator dynamics (RD), the best response (BR), and the unconditional imitation (UI). For the pure coordination game with two equivalent strategies we find a transition from a disordered state to coordination for a critical value of connectivity. The transition is system-size-independent for the BR and RD update rules. For the IU it is system-size-dependent, but coordination can always be reached below the connectivity of a complete graph. We also consider the general coordination game which covers a range of games, such as the stag hunt. For these games there is a payoff-dominant strategy and a risk-dominant strategy with associated states of equilibrium coordination. We analyse equilibrium selection analytically and numerically. For the RD and BR update rules mean-field predictions agree with simulations and the risk-dominant strategy is evolutionary favoured independently of local effects. When players use the unconditional imitation, however, we observe coordination in the payoff-dominant strategy. Surprisingly, the selection of pay-off dominant equilibrium only occurs below a critical value of the network connectivity and disappears in complete graphs. As we show, it is a combination of local effects and update rule that allows for coordination on the payoff-dominant strategy.


  • Mathematics
  • Physics


  • applied mathematics; applied physics; complex networks; complexity; computer modelling; emergence; environmental economics; phase transitions and critical phenomena; population dynamics