Game Theory: A Critical Introduction

By Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap; Yanis Varoufakis | Go to book overview

PREFACE

As ever there are people and cats to thank. There is also on this occasion electronic mail. The first draft of this book took shape in various cafeterias in Florence during YV’s visit to Europe in 1992 and matured on beaches and in restaurants during SHH’s visit to Sydney in 1993. Since then the mail wires between Sydney and Norwich, or wherever they are, have rarely been anything other than warm to hot, and of course we shall claim that this might account for any mistakes.

The genesis of the book goes back much longer. We were colleagues together at the University of East Anglia, where game theory has long been the object of interdisciplinary scrutiny. Both of us have been toying with game theory in an idiosyncratic way (see SHH’s 1989 and YV’s 1991 books)—it was a matter of time before we did so in an organised manner. The excuse for the book developed out of some joint work which we were undertaking during SHH’s visit to Sydney in 1990. During the gestation period colleagues both at Sydney and at UEA exerted their strong influence. Martin Hollis and Bob Sugden, at UEA, were obvious sources of ideas while Don Wright, at Sydney, read the first draft and sprinkled it with liberal doses of the same question: ‘Who are you writing this for?’ (Ourselves of course Don!) Robin Cubbitt from UEA deserves a special mention for being a constant source of helpful advice throughout the last stages. We are also grateful to the Australian Research Council for grant 24657 which allowed us to carry out the experiments mentioned in Chapter 8.

It is natural to reflect on whether the writing of a book exemplifies its theme. Has the production of this book been a game? In a sense it has. The opportunities for conflict abounded within a two-person interaction which would have not generated this book unless strategic compromise was reached and cooperation prevailed. In another sense, however, this was definitely no game. The point about games is that objectives and rules are known in advance. The writing of a book by two authors is a different type of game, one that game theory does not consider. It not only involves

-xi-

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Game Theory: A Critical Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Boxes viii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - An Overview 1
  • 2 - The Elements of Game Theory 41
  • 3 - Dynamic Games 80
  • 4 - Bargaining Games 111
  • 5 - The Prisoners’ Dilemma 146
  • 6 - Repeated Games and Reputations 167
  • 7 - Evolutionary Games 195
  • 8 - Watching People Play Games 236
  • Postscript 260
  • Notes 261
  • Bibliography 265
  • Name Index 273
  • Subject Index 276
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