Game Theory Evolving: A Problem-Centered Introduction to Modeling Strategic Interaction

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9780691009421: Game Theory Evolving: A Problem-Centered Introduction to Modeling Strategic Interaction
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The study of strategic action (game theory) is moving from a formal science of rational behavior to an evolutionary tool kit for studying behavior in a broad array of social settings. In this problem-oriented introduction to the field, Herbert Gintis exposes students to the techniques and applications of game theory through a wealth of sophisticated and surprisingly fun-to-solve problems involving human (and even animal) behavior.

Game Theory Evolving is innovative in several ways. First, it reflects game theory's expansion into such areas as cooperation in teams, networks, the evolution and diffusion of preferences, the connection between biology and economics, artificial life simulations, and experimental economics. Second, the book--recognizing that students learn by doing and that most game theory texts are weak on problems--is organized around problems, and introduces principles through practice. Finally, the quality of the problems is simply unsurpassed, and each chapter provides a study plan for instructors interested in teaching evolutionary game theory.

Reflecting the growing consensus that in many important contexts outside of anonymous markets, human behavior is not well described by classical "rationality," Gintis shows students how to apply game theory to model how people behave in ways that reflect the special nature of human sociality and individuality. This book is perfect for upper undergraduate and graduate economics courses as well as a terrific introduction for ambitious do-it-yourselfers throughout the behavioral sciences.

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Review:

"Gintis has wholeheartedly embraced the evolutionary approach to games. . .The author is an accomplished economist raised in the classical mold, and his background shown in many aspects of the book . . . He himself has important things to say."--Karl Sigmund, Science

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"Mathematically rigorous, computationally adroit, rich in illuminating problems, and engagingly written, Game Theory Evolving will be invaluable to students and researchers across the social sciences."--Joshua M. Epstein, The Brookings Institution and Santa Fe Institute

"Herb Gintis weaves classical game theory together with recent work in experimental economics, biology, evolutionary game theory, and behavioral economics. His book has something new, possibly something to argue with, but always something intriguing, for everyone."--Larry Samuelson, University of Wisconsin

"For anyone interested in game theory as a conceptual framework for investigating and thinking about strategic behavior in the social world, broadly interpreted, this book is a must reference work. Herb Gintis is to be congratulated for integrating a large literature on theory, evolution, experimental and field observations into an accessible treatise."--Vernon Smith, University of Arizona

"There is a great need for a problem book in game theory, and Gintis is correct to emphasize that learning game theory requires the solving of problems."--Michael Suk-Young Chwe, New York University

"Simply to have all this material in one place is refreshing and a big step forward. Gintis is careful on technical detail and clearly loves these models."--Colin Camerer, California Institute of Technology

"Game Theory Evolving is the most up-to-date textbook in game theory on the market. Gintis covers an extraordinary range of topics, including some of the most recent developments in theory, with both stylistic verve and mathematical rigor. More importantly, he shows how the theory illuminates a great variety of real-world situations that both students and professors can relate to."---H. Peyton Young, The Johns Hopkins University and The Brookings Institution

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ISBN 10: 0691140510 ISBN 13: 9780691140513
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2009
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