Finding the key: The riddle of focal points

R. Sugden, Ignacio Zamarron Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Schelling's concept of a focal point is widely understood and used in game theory, but is often thought to lack adequate theoretical foundations; Schelling's own account is viewed as metaphorical and mysterious. We reconstruct that account and argue that it contains a sound theory of how rational players solve coordination problems. However, the philosophical framework which supports Schelling's theory is not a deductive system of the kind presupposed by classical game theory but a pragmatic one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Focal point
  • Coordination game

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