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gametheory - LEHIGH UNIVERSITY Department of Economics Game...

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LEHIGH UNIVERSITY Department of Economics Game Theory Professor James Dearden Eco/IE 358 Fall 2005 Required Text Martin J. Osborne, An Introduction to Game Theory , Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0- 19-512895-8 Administrative Office: 463 RBC Telephone: 758-5129 E-mail: [email protected] Office Hours: Monday, Friday, 10:00-11:00; Wednesday 2:00-3:00 (with changes announced in class) and by appointment The Fun of Games and Interactions Wouldn't life be simple if, in making decisions, we could ignore the interests and actions of others? Simple yes – but boring too. The fact remains that most real-world decisions are not made in isolation, but involve interaction with others. This course studies the competitive and cooperative behavior that results when several parties with conflicting interests must work together. We will learn how to use game theory to formally study situations of potential conflict: situations where the eventual outcome depends not just on your decision and chance, but the actions of others as well. Applications are drawn from economics, business, and political science. Typically there will be no clear cut "answers" to these problems (unlike most single-person decisions). Our analysis can only suggest what issues are important and provide guidelines for appropriate behavior in certain situations. On the one hand, competitive analysis is subtle, ambiguous, and often counter-intuitive; but on the other hand, it is fascinating, challenging, and a good deal of fun. I hope to broaden your exposure to and improve your understanding of competitive situations.
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