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API-303: Game Theory and Strategic Decisions

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Harvard Kennedy School

API-303: Game Theory and Strategic Decisions

Description: This course uses game theory to study strategic behavior in real-world situations. It develops theoretical concepts, such as incentives, threats and promises, and signaling, with application to a range of policy issues. Examples will be drawn from a wide variety of areas, such as marketing, labor bargaining, international negotiations, auction design, and voting behavior. This course will also explore how people actually behave in strategic settings through a series of participatory demonstrations. These experiments will help refine our understanding of economic behavior in the real world. Prior courses in microeconomics and mathematics are helpful but not required.

Faculty: Pinar Dogan

Source: (accessed 21 February 2013)



Additional course description from the syllabus

The course is designed to be accessible to all Kennedy School students, regardless of mathematical background. The lectures emphasize conceptual rather than technical material, however, additional technical material will be provided as optional readings.

Main Textbook

Avinash Dixit, Susan Skeath, and David H. Reiley, Jr., Games of Strategy, 3rd Edition, Norton, 2009.

Recommended Books We will read from three other books, which you might consider purchasing.

Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff, The Art of Strategy, Norton, 2008.

David Kreps, Game Theory and Economic Modeling, Oxford/Clarendon, 1990.

Thomas Schelling, Micromotives and Macrobehavior, Norton, 1978 (Rev Ed 2006).

Other Books

Roy Gardner, Games for Business and Economics, Wiley, 1995.

John McMillan, Games, Strategies, and Managers, Oxford University Press, 1996.

Howard Raiffa, The Art and Science of Negotiation, Harvard University Press, 1982.

Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict, Harvard University Press, 1960 (Reprinted1980).

Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles provide an excellent list of teaching topics for the Decision Sciences for Public Management subject:

Foundations of Game Theory
Prisoners' Dilemma and its Applications
Pure Strategy
Nash Equilibrium
Multiple Nash Equilibria
Equilibrium Selection
Mixed Strategies
Repeated Games
Collective Action and Collective Inaction Games
Sequential Move Games
Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium (SPNE)
Application of SPNE to Bargaining
Games with Incomplete Information
Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection
Signaling Games
Cheap Talk
Strategy and Voting
Power and limits to game theory

    Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 22 February 2013. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.



    API-303, Spring 2013, Pinar Dogan.pdfAPI-303, Spring 2013, Pinar Dogan

    Important Notices
    © University of Toronto 2008
    School of Public Policy and Governance