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This paper focuses on the cross-layer issue of joint multiuser detection and resource allocation for energy efficiency in wireless code-division multiple-access (CDMA) networks. In particular, assuming that a linear multiuser detector is adopted in the uplink receiver, the situation considered is that in which each terminal is allowed to vary its transmit power, spreading code, and uplink receiver in order to maximize its own utility, which is defined as the ratio of data throughput to transmit power. Applying a game-theoretic formulation, a non-cooperative game for utility maximization is formulated, and it is proved that a unique Nash equilibrium exists, which, under certain conditions, is also Pareto-optimal. Theoretical results concerning the relationship between the problems of signal-to-interference-plus noise ratio (SINR) maximization and mean-square error (MSE) minimization are given, and, by applying the tools of large system analysis, a new distributed power control algorithm is implemented, based on very little prior information about the user of interest. The utility profile achieved by the active users in a large CDMA system is also computed, and, moreover, the centralized socially optimal solution is analyzed. Considerations concerning the extension of the proposed framework to a multi-cell scenario are also briefly detailed. Simulation results confirm that the proposed non-cooperative game largely outperforms competing alternatives, and that it exhibits negligible performance loss with respect to the socially optimal solution, and only in the case in which the number of users exceeds the processing gain. Finally, results also show an excellent agreement between the theoretical closed-form formulas based on large system analysis and the outcome of numerical experiments.