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Game Theory for Applied Economists [Paperback]

Robert Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Aug 1992

This book introduces one of the most powerful tools of modern economics to a wide audience: those who will later construct or consume game-theoretic models. Robert Gibbons addresses scholars in applied fields within economics who want a serious and thorough discussion of game theory but who may have found other works overly abstract. Gibbons emphasizes the economic applications of the theory at least as much as the pure theory itself; formal arguments about abstract games play a minor role. The applications illustrate the process of model building--of translating an informal description of a multi-person decision situation into a formal game-theoretic problem to be analyzed. Also, the variety of applications shows that similar issues arise in different areas of economics, and that the same game-theoretic tools can be applied in each setting. In order to emphasize the broad potential scope of the theory, conventional applications from industrial organization have been largely replaced by applications from labor, macro, and other applied fields in economics. The book covers four classes of games, and four corresponding notions of equilibrium: static games of complete information and Nash equilibrium, dynamic games of complete information and subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium, static games of incomplete information and Bayesian Nash equilibrium, and dynamic games of incomplete information and perfect Bayesian equilibrium.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (2 Aug 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691003955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691003955
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Lucid and detailed introduction to game theory in an explicitly economic context."--Cooperative Economic News Service

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and no fuss 9 Jun 2007
I've worked with a handful of game theory books till now, and this one is by far the best. It helps to know some maths (as opposed to the book by Osborne which has much less math, but is much less readable nonetheless), but don't let this frighten you - this book uses examples all the way and is very easy to follow for the beginner.

The one annoying thing is that there are no solutions to the many problems provided, which would be a great help to the student. Apart from this nuisance, this book is highly recommended.

The reader should be aware that this is the American version, and that the same book is published in Europe as "A Primer in Game Theory". As far as I know there is no difference beyond title and cover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Game Theory 30 Oct 1998
By A Customer
It provides good introduction and basic concepts in Game Theory. Lots of interesting classical examples are given. It is a must for all beginners with mathematic background.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clealy the best game theory book till now. 17 May 1999
By A Customer
Mas-Collel et alia, Fudenberg & Tirole, Myerson Rubinstein & Osborne have to do a lot of work to write a Game theory book as good as this one!!. Only Kreps and perhaps Rasmusen do not write as obscure and incomptehensible as the above cited authors. Anyway, congratulations Robert, you beat them all!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent short text 13 Dec 2001
By Pranab Majumder - Published on
This is an excellent quick guide to the essentials fo Game theory for graduate level students. While is has slightly less detail than Tirole and Fudenberg's Game Theory, and fewer stories and context than Binmore's "Fun and Games" (an undergraduate level text), this book is very important in presenting the structure of non-cooperative game theory in a lean manner. It is also very good as a reference text.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, informative 4 Jun 2005
By SamBK - Published on
This is the book I learned game theory from. I think the book covers a good deal of game theory with enough details and coverage. The best thing about the book is that the discussions are simple and clear which makes learning game theory easy and quick. The book is not very technical, but goes through examples (both simple and little more complicated) to clarify different games. At the end of chapters there are exercises too, and they are helpful.

I recommend this book as your first book in game theory. If you want to do some serious work with game theory, you may want to check more technical and more advanced books in the field.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Book- for Economists 7 Mar 2003
By D. W. MacKenzie - Published on
Gibbons makes learning game theory easy. Game Theory for Applied Economists explains both how to solve and the ideas behind game theoretic models carefully. This enables students to better see how the math applies to how people vie in markets. It also makes it accessable to students who do not already know a great deal of math. Game Theory for Applied Economists could be used as an undergraduate text, as well as a supplemetal text in graduate school. Some of the other reviewers find this book difficult, but it is easy compared to most math-econ texts.

There is alot more to game theory that what you see in this book, but this book teaches enough game theory for a good general understanding of this subject. This book covers the concepts all should start with, no matter where you end up heading with game theory. Everyone planning to attend graduate school for economics should read this book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction (it's worth the money!) 25 April 2006
By T - Published on
I've used this book both as a textbook and as a reference in three game theory courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It doesn't cover some critical applications to contract theory, but other than that it's absolutely thorough and clear.

I don't know if it would be all that fun for someone just looking to dabble in game theory without any academic interests. I can recommend Strategy by Joel Watson for those folks - much more intuitive and has lots of examples. But if you're academically interested in game theory at all, you have to get this book. It's a great reference, and absolutely worth the money (I can't usually say that about my textbooks!).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for serious students! 7 Nov 2006
By P.C. - Published on
Many readers have commented on how technical this book is. I agree, but keep in mind, this book was written for students who aim to become economists, and a certain degree of technical difficulty is imperative. I confess that I struggled through the book, and I often came upon huge obstacles. But none of the difficulties that I faced were due to the book itself, all of the struggles were due to my own limited ability. But I guarantee, once you get through this book, you will be able to "use" game theory, and probably even incorporate it in your next research project!

This book was written for those who wish to use game theory in their next research paper, and it does an excellent job of it. If you are only searching for a book to understand game theory, then this book is not for you. But if you want to "use" game theory, then look no further!
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