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Game Theory & Modeling


In economics, most noncooperative game theory has focused on equilibrium in games, especially Nash equilibrium and its refinements. The traditional explanation for when and why equilibrium arises is that it results from analysis and introspection by the players in a situation where the rules of the game, the rationality of the players, and the players' payoff functions are all common knowledge. Both conceptually and empirically, this theory has many problems.


The notion of bounded rationality was initiated in the 1950s by Herbert Simon; only recently has it influenced mainstream economics. In this book, Ariel Rubinstein defines models of bounded rationality as those in which elements of the process of choice are explicitly embedded. The book focuses on the challenges of modeling bounded rationality, rather than on substantial economic implications.


This text introduces current evolutionary game theory—where ideas from evolutionary biology and rationalistic economics meet—emphasizing the links between static and dynamic approaches and noncooperative game theory. The author provides an overview of the developments that have taken place in this branch of game theory, discusses the mathematical tools needed to understand the area, describes both the motivation and intuition for the concepts involved, and explains why and how the theory is relevant to economics.


Cases and Models

Game theory has come to dominate industrial organization economics, but business strategists continue to debate its usefulness. So far, empirical work on the application of game theory to business strategy has been too limited to force a consensus. As a (partial) remedy, Games Businesses Play uses detailed case studies of competitive interaction to explore the uses and limits of game theory as a tool for business strategists.

Emperically Grounded Economic Reason

Throughout Herbert Simon's wide-ranging career -- in public administration, business administration, economics, cognitive psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and computer science -- his central aim has been to explain the nature of the thought processes that people use in making decisions.The third volume of Simon's collected papers continues this theme, bringing together work on this and other economics-related topics that have occupied his attention in the 1980s and 1990s: how to represent causal ordering formally in dynamic systems, the implications for society of new electr

During the height of the Cold War, between 1965 and 1968, Robert Aumann, Michael Maschler, and Richard Stearns collaborated on research on the dynamics of arms control negotiations that has since become foundational to work on repeated games. These five seminal papers are collected here for the first time, with the addition of "postscripts" describing many of the developments since the papers were written. The basic model studied throughout the book is one in which players ignorant about the game being played must learn what they can from the actions of the others.

A Course in Game Theory presents the main ideas of game theory at a level suitable for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, emphasizing the theory's foundations and interpretations of its basic concepts. The authors provide precise definitions and full proofs of results, sacrificing generalities and limiting the scope of the material in order to do so. The text is organized in four parts: strategic games, extensive games with perfect information, extensive games with imperfect information, and coalitional games. It includes over 100 exercises.

Playing Fair

In Game Theory and the Social Contract, Ken Binmore argues that game theory provides a systematic tool for investigating ethical matters. His reinterpretation of classical social contract ideas within a game-theoretic framework generates new insights into the fundamental questions of social philosophy. He clears the way for this ambitious endeavor by first focusing on foundational issues—paying particular attention to the failings of recent attempts to import game—theoretic ideas into social and political philosophy.

These seventeen contributions take up the most recent research in game theory, reflecting the many diverse approaches in the field today. They are classified in five general tactical categories - prediction, explanation, investigation, description, and prescription - and wit in these along applied and theoretical divisions. The introduction clearly lays out this framework.

Ken Binmore is Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, Alan Kirman is Professor of Economics at European University Institute, and Piero Tani is Dean of the Faculty at the University of Florence.