Taught by Ben Polak, an economics professor and now Provost at Yale University, this free course offers an introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Drawing on examples from economics, politics, the movies and beyond, the lectures cover topics essential to understanding Game theory–including “dominance, backward induction, the Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling.”
Since Game Theory offers “a way of thinking about strategic situations,” the course will “teach you some strategic considerations to take into account [when] making your choices,” and “to predict how other people or organizations [will] behave when they are in strategic settings.”
The 24 lectures can be streamed above. (They’re also on YouTube and iTunes in audio and video). A complete syllabus can be found be on this Yale web site. Texts used in the course are the following:
- A. Dixit and B. Nalebuff. Thinking Strategically, Norton 1991
- J. Watson. Strategy: An Introduction to Game Theory, Norton 2002
- P.K. Dutta. Strategies and Games: Theory And Practice, MIT 1999
Game Theory will be added to our list of Free Economics Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.
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This should be fascinating, thank you for finding and sharing this playlist.
One/two provisos though. I hope the failings of Game Theory are acknowleged.
1) The prisoner’s dilemma. The prisoner’s dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely “rational” individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so.
2) That altruism can undermine some precepts of Game Theory – See this 9 minute clip from Adam Curtis’s ‘The Trap’, 2007 –
Just to add to the previous comment –
3) ‘The Paradox of Choice’. A 2005 TED Talk by Barry Schwartz where he shows how an excess of choice in our lives, rather than improving our lot, is leading to paralysis, avoidance and a possible link to depression. https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice
4) That rational self interest is not necessarilly what governments want. The recent creation and use of Liberal Paternalist ideas (Nudge Theory, The UK government’s Nudge Unit) routed in the idea that people cannot be left alone to make decisions but have to be ‘guided’ into making ‘correct’ decisions by folk that ‘know’ better. https://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2017/feb/22/nudge-theory-the-psychology-and-ethics-of-persuasion-science-weekly-podcast
Thanks for this! Helped me a lot…