Schelling's Game TheoryHow to Make Decisions

Schelling's Game TheoryHow to Make Decisions

Robert V. Dodge

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780199857203

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Thomas Schelling won the Nobel Prize “for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.” This came after he had taught a game theory and rational choice course for forty-five years at an advanced level. This book presents the concepts Schelling taught as they are useful tools for understanding decisions and consequences. Mathematics often makes game theory challenging but it is presented as something very simple in this book. Along with a summary of the material Schelling presented this book looks at problems from his course and similar less challenging questions. While considerable analysis is carried out with the basic game theory tool—the two-by-two matrix—much of the book is descriptive and rational decision-making is presented through stories and explanation. Chapter supplements are added to illuminate points presented by Schelling and two chapters are case studies for detailed analysis of strategic thinking. The story of professional basketball coach Phil Jackson concerns the conflict between self-interest and group interest of star players in a multi-person form of the prisoner's dilemma. The second study illustrates the most dangerous decision-making moment in history, the Cuban missile crisis. This book is based on Thomas Schelling's course, which has provided guidance and insight to a great number of people around the world in academic and leadership positions.