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Introduction to Game Theory


(last updated 01/08/2010)

Course Description

This course is an introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are discussed and applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere.

Class Sessions

Click session titles below to access audio, video, and course materials.

1. Introduction: five first lessons
2. Putting yourselves into other people’s shoes
3. Iterative deletion and the median-voter theorem
4. Best responses in soccer and business partnerships
5. Nash equilibrium: bad fashion and bank runs
6. Nash equilibrium: dating and Cournot
7. Nash equilibrium: shopping, standing and voting on a line
8. Nash equilibrium: location, segregation and randomization
9. Mixed strategies in theory and tennis
10. Mixed strategies in baseball, dating and paying your taxes
11. Evolutionary stability: cooperation, mutation, and equilibrium
12. Evolutionary stability: social convention, aggression, and cycles
Midterm Exam
13. Sequential games: moral hazard, incentives, and hungry lions
14. Backward induction: commitment, spies, and first-mover advantages
15. Backward induction: chess, strategies, and credible threats
16. Backward induction: reputation and duels
17. Backward induction: ultimatums and bargaining
18. Imperfect information: information sets and sub-game perfection
19. Subgame perfect equilibrium: matchmaking and strategic investments
20. Subgame perfect equilibrium: wars of attrition
21. Repeated games: cooperation vs. the end game
22. Repeated games: cheating, punishment, and outsourcing
23. Asymmetric information: silence, signaling and suffering education
24. Asymmetric information: auctions and the winner’s curse
Final Exam

Related Resources

Lecture Transcript and Reading Assignment

Course Index

  1. Introduction to Game Theory
  2. Putting Yourselves into Other People’s Shoes
  3. Iterative Deletion and the Median-Voter Theorem
  4. Best Responses in Soccer and Business Partnerships
  5. Nash Equilibrium
  6. Nash Equilibrium: Dating and Cournot
  7. Nash Equilibrium: Shopping, Standing and Voting on a Line
  8. Nash Equilibrium: Location, Segregation and Randomization
  9. Mixed Strategies in Theory and Tennis
  10. Mixed Strategies in Baseball, Dating and Paying Your Taxes
  11. Evolutionary Stability: Cooperation, Mutation, and Equilibrium
  12. Evolutionary Stability: Social Convention, Aggression, and Cycles
  13. Sequential Games: Moral Hazard, Incentives, and Hungry Lions
  14. Backward Induction: Commitment, Spies, and First-Mover Advantages
  15. Backward Induction: Chess, Strategies, and Credible Threats
  16. Backward Induction: Reputation and Duels
  17. Backward Induction: Ultimatums and Bargaining
  18. Imperfect Information: Information Sets and Sub-Game Perfection
  19. Subgame Perfect Equilibrium: Matchmaking and Strategic Investments
  20. Subgame Perfect Equilibrium: Wars of Attrition
  21. Repeated Games: Cooperation vs the End Game
  22. Repeated Games: Cheating, Punishment, and Outsourcing
  23. Asymmetric Information: Silence, Signaling and Suffering Education
  24. Asymmetric Information: Auctions and the Winner’s Curse

Source: Academic Earth. Game Theory. http://academicearth.org/courses/game-theory and http://oyc.yale.edu/

Watch it on Academic Earth, and http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/game-theory/contents/sessions.html

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