Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring
In repeated games with imperfect public monitoring, players can use public signals to coordinate their behavior perfectly, and thus support cooperative outcomes with the threat of punishments. But with even a small amount of private monitoring, players’ private histories may lead them to have sufficiently different views of the world that such coordination on punishments is no longer possible (we describe a simple strategy profile that is a perfect public equilibrium of a repeated prisoner’s dilemma with imperfect public monitoring and yet is not an equilibrium for arbitrarily close games with private monitoring). If a perfect public equilibrium has players’ behavior conditioned only on finite histories, then it induces an equilibrium in all close-by games with private monitoring. This implies a folk theorem for repeated games with almost-public almost-perfect monitoring.