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This paper discusses a new perspective for the application of game theory to wireless relay networks, namely, how to employ it not only as an analytical evaluation instrument, but also in constructively deriving practical network management policies. We focus on the problem of medium sharing in wireless networks, which is often seen as a case where game theory just proves the inefficiency of distributed access, without proposing any remedy. Instead, we show how, by properly modeling the agents involved in such a scenario, and enabling simple but effective incentives towards cooperation for the users, we obtain a resource allocation scheme which is meaningful from both perspectives of game theory and network engineering. Such a result is achieved by introducing throughput redistribution as a way to transfer utilities, which enables cooperation among the users. Finally, a Stackelberg formulation is proposed, involving the network access point as a further player. Our approach is also able to take into account power consumption of the terminals, still without treating it as an insurmountable hurdle to cooperation, and at the same time to drive the network allocation towards an efficient cooperation level.