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Game Theoretic Strategies for Australia's Skilled Migration System

Published 30 Aug 2023 / Updated 30 Aug 2023

Game Theoretic Strategies for Australia's Skilled Migration System

Navigating Australia's Skilled Migration system is a complex task that can be better understood through the lens of game theory. Here are some strategies rooted in game theory concepts that could give an applicant a strategic advantage:

1. Signaling

Concept: Signaling involves revealing private information about oneself to change the beliefs or strategies of others.

Application and Example: Suppose you have a specialized skill set that's rare but high in demand. By openly discussing this skill set on professional networking sites or forums, you signal to other potential applicants that you have a strong chance in that particular category. This might deter them from competing directly with you, reducing the overall competition in your specific skill set.

2. Commitment Device

Concept: A commitment device is a way to deliberately limit one's future options, aiming to encourage a particular favorable outcome.

Application and Example: You could publicly announce your intention to pursue a specific state or territory for migration, especially one that is less popular. This signals to others that you're committed to that pathway, perhaps leading them to consider other, more crowded routes, thereby reducing your competition.

3. Mixed Strategies

Concept: Mixed strategies involve randomizing one's choices in order to make an opponent's decision-making more complicated.

Application and Example: You could submit expressions of interest for multiple skilled occupations or states, without revealing your actual preference. This unpredictable behavior may discourage others from trying to out-compete you in any single category, giving you a better chance in all.

4. Bayesian Updating

Concept: This involves adjusting one's strategies based on new, incoming information.

Application and Example: Constantly staying updated on the number of invitations issued and points required for each occupation allows you to dynamically adjust your own strategy. If you find out a certain skill set suddenly has a lower points requirement, you can quickly change your expression of interest to boost your chances.

5. Tit-for-Tat

Concept: This strategy involves starting with cooperation and then mimicking the opponent's previous action in the next round.

Application and Example: In a smaller community of potential migrants, where information is shared openly, you could adopt a cooperative approach by sharing valuable tips and advice. If others reciprocate, you continue cooperating. If someone takes advantage without giving back, you withhold information from them in the future.

6. Zero-Sum Games and Pareto Efficiency

Concept: Understanding that in a zero-sum situation, gains for one player necessarily translate into losses for another. Pareto Efficiency seeks a state where no one can be made better off without making someone else worse off.

Application and Example: You could identify lesser-known yet equally promising migration pathways that others are ignoring. By choosing such a path, you leave the more competitive pathways for others, effectively reducing the competition and increasing chances for everyone.

7. First Mover Advantage

Concept: Being the first to make a move in a game can provide a strategic advantage over other players.

Application and Example: Being one of the first to apply for a newly-announced skilled occupation or a new immigration program could give you an advantage. It not only shows your readiness but also may allow you to be assessed before a backlog of applications starts to form.

8. Information Asymmetry

Concept: When one player has more or better information than the other, they have a significant advantage.

Application and Example: If you have insider information about upcoming changes in the immigration system, you can prepare your application to match these changes before they become public knowledge. This can put you several steps ahead of the competition.

9. Preemption

Concept: Acting in such a way as to prevent an opponent from taking an action that would be beneficial for them.

Application and Example: If you learn that a new pathway for migration is about to be introduced, you could prepare and submit your application in such a way that you take up the limited slots, preempting others from getting a chance.

10. Collusion

Concept: A scenario where players cooperate for their mutual benefit, often against the interest of other players.

Application and Example: In online forums or through social media, you can form alliances with other applicants who have complementary skills and strategies. By sharing information and supporting each other's applications, you can create a mutually beneficial scenario, thereby improving each other's chances.

๐ŸŽˆ Disclaimer

This blog post is for informational purposes only, to make applicants aware of the role Game Theory plays in a finite resource competitive system. The information provided does not constitute professional and/or legal advice. We do not condone/advocate unethical behaviour and we support and advocate healthy, rules and laws based competition.

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