Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions

By Robert V. Dodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Thomas Schelling and His Signature
Course on Strategic Thinking

His acute understanding of game theory has propelled advances
in the field and contributed to our hope for greater safety in the
world
.—William C. Kirby, Harvard Business School

Tom Schelling has perhaps the most brilliant and interesting mind
I’ve had the privilege to encounter.—William Ury, Founder, Senior
Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project

As much as any social scientist alive, Tom Schelling’s work shows
that ideas matter.—Richard Zeckhauser, JFK School of Government,
Harvard University

In Japan Thomas Schelling would be named a national treasure.
—Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate, Economics

Tom Schelling is a titan, and it is not the slightest exaggeration to
say that his remarkable scholarship has made the world a safer and
better place
.—David T. Ellwood, Dean, JFK School of Government,
Harvard University

In October of 2005 Thomas Schelling was named Nobel Laureate in Economics “for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.” The accolades above, by elite scholars, are not hyperbole; they describe a remarkable man. Though he remains less well known than his impact warrants, Schelling’s work is the ultimate in rational strategic analysis. He identified and developed skills for making imaginative choices in diverse situations with an understanding of what the results of those choices will be. This is a book about his approach to decisions and to understanding what decisions mean; his work’s purpose is to foster intelligent decision-making.

Schelling is primarily a product of the Cold War. He left Harvard Graduate School in 1948 to work in the Marshall Plan in Europe, where he witnessed economic recovery through cooperation. Next he went into the Truman administration

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