The Absent-Minded Driver

Authors: 
Robert J. Aumann, Sergiu Hart & Motty Perry
Abstract: 

The example of the "absent-minded driver" was introduced by Piccione & Rubinstein [1995] in the context of games and decision problems with imperfect recall. They claim that a "paradox" or "inconsistency" arises when the decision reached at the "planning stage" -- before the game is played -- is compared with that at the "action stage" -- when the game is played. Though the example is provocative and worth having, their analysis is unsound. A careful analysis reveals that while the considerations at the planing and action stages do differ, there is no paradox or inconsistency. 94R. Robert J. Aumann, Sergiu Hart & Motty Perry, "The Absent-Minded Driver" (Revised, December 1996). The example of the "absent-minded driver" was introduced by Piccione & Rubinstein [1995] in the context of games and decision problems with imperfect recall. They claim that a "paradox" or "inconsistency" arises when the decision reached at the "planning stage" is compared with that at the "action stage". Though the example is provocative and worth having, their analysis is questionable. A careful analysis reveals that while the considerations at the planing and action stages do differ, there is no paradox or inconsistency.

Date: 
January, 1996
Published in: 
Games and Economic Behavior 20 (1997), 102-116
Number: 
94