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Game Theory & Modeling

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Theory and Practice

Game theory has become increasingly popular among undergraduate as well as business school students. This text is the first to provide both a complete theoretical treatment of the subject and a variety of real-world applications, primarily in economics, but also in business, political science, and the law.

The greatest strength of this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of Lectures on International Trade is its rigorous algebraic and geometric treatment of the various models and results of trade theory. The authors, who now include Arvind Panagariya, offer both policy insights and empirical applications. They have added nine entirely new chapters as well as new sections to several existing chapters (e.g., a greatly expanded treatment of the growing theory of preferential trade agreements).

Evolutionary game theory is one of the most active and rapidly growing areas of research in economics. Unlike traditional game theory models, which assume that all players are fully rational and have complete knowledge of details of the game, evolutionary models assume that people choose their strategies through a trial-and-error learning process in which they gradually discover that some strategies work better than others. In games that are repeated many times, low-payoff strategies tend to be weeded out, and an equilibrium may emerge.

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.

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.

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. Much of the text is devoted to the key concepts of evolutionary stability and replicator dynamics. The former highlights the role of mutations and the latter the mechanisms of selection. Moreover, set-valued static and dynamic stability concepts, as well as processes of social evolution, are discussed.

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.

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.

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