A Course in Networks and Markets

A Course in Networks and Markets

Game-theoretic Models and Reasoning

By Rafael Pass

A graduate-level, mathematically rigorous introduction to strategic behavior in a networked world.
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A graduate-level, mathematically rigorous introduction to strategic behavior in a networked world.

This introductory graduate-level text uses tools from game theory and graph theory to examine the role of network structures and network effects in economic and information markets. The goal is for students to develop an intuitive and mathematically rigorous understanding of how strategic agents interact in a connected world. The text synthesizes some of the central results in the field while also simplifying their treatment to make them more accessible to nonexperts. Thus, students at the introductory level will gain an understanding of key ideas in the field that are usually only taught at the advanced graduate level.

The book introduces basic concepts from game theory and graph theory as well as some fundamental algorithms for exploring graphs. These tools are then applied to analyze strategic interactions over social networks, to explore different types of markets and mechanisms for networks, and to study the role of beliefs and higher-level beliefs (beliefs about beliefs). Specific topics discussed include coordination and contagion on social networks, traffic networks, matchings and matching markets, exchange networks, auctions, voting, web search, models of belief and knowledge, and how beliefs affect auctions and markets. An appendix offers a “Primer on Probability.”  Mathematically rigorous, the text assumes a level of mathematical maturity (comfort with definitions and proofs) in the reader.

Instructor Resources

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: File of figures in the book.


$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262039789 264 pp. | 8 in x 9 in 40 color illus., 3 b&w illus.


  • “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. But Pass's elementary explanation of networks and markets, capturing all the relevant phenomena and presenting full proofs, is a miracle!”

    Silvio Micali

    Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

  • “This is an excellent introduction to networks and markets, perfect for a more theoretically oriented one-semester course. Students will particularly appreciate the clear expository style and the choice of topics.”

    Joseph Y. Halpern

    Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University

  • “Networks and game theory have a symbiotic relationship. Each field has enriched the conceptual and modeling toolbox of the other, and in joining forces they have encompassed applications ranging from matching markets to traffic routing, and from network cascades to web search.  A Course in Networks and Markets covers the most important ideas, models, and results in the area, while perfectly balancing accessibility and rigor.”

    Tim Roughgarden

    Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

  • “This book provides its readers with many insights from network models as well as the elegant synthesis of game theoretic and graph theoretic techniques that produce these perceptions. A concise and rigorous exposition of a wide range of central research topics makes it a wonderful companion to advanced students in computer science or economics.”

    Jacob Leshno

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago