Game theory studies competitive and cooperative behavior in strategic environments, where the fortunes of several players are intertwined. It provides methods for...More >>
Game theory studies competitive and cooperative behavior in strategic environments, where the fortunes of several players are intertwined. It provides methods for identifying optimal strategies and predicting the outcome of strategic interactions. The field of game theory began around 1900 when mathematicians began asking whether there were optimal strategies for parlor games such as chess and poker, and, if so, what these strategies might look like. The first comprehensive formulation of the subject came in 1944, with the publication of the book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by famous mathematician John von Neumann and eminent economist Oskar Morgenstern. As its title indicates, this book also marked the beginning of the application of game theory to economics. Since then, game theory has been applied to many other fields, including political science, military strategy, law, computer science, and biology, among other areas. In 1994, three pioneers in game theory were awarded a Nobel Prize, marking the 'arrival' of the field. In 2005, two other prominent researchers in game theory were awarded a Nobel Prize. Among the other applications, game theory today is finding its way into the world of business. (Pick up a business magazine or book and there is a good chance that it will use some game-theory jargon such as zero-sum game, Prisoner's Dilemma, win-win game, etc.). As well as learning the underlying theory in the course, we'll be looking at how game theory can indeed be applied to business.