Economics 240: Game Theory Goes to the Movies

Course Description:

Game theory is the science of strategic thinking, offering several insights for analyzing the behavior of individuals in strategic situations, where the actions of one participant influence and are influenced by the actions of others. This course will introduce and develop some basic concepts of game theoretic analysis, in order to provide students with an understanding of the decisions made by individuals in interactive situations.

Topics addressed include sequential rationality, the prisoner's dilemma, credible commitment, reputation and signaling, the role of fairness and revenge in strategy, brinkmanship, as well voting and bargaining. The emphasis of the course material will be on applications, rather than on formal theory, and illustrations will be synthesized from films, as well as from examples in economics, business, and everyday life.

Prerequisite: Econ 100

Grades determined by two in-class examinations, a quiz during the final exam period, a short paper analyzing a film, and a presentation.