Synopses & Reviews
Game theory is the mathematical analysis of strategic interaction. In the fifty years since the appearance of von Neumann and Morgenstern's classic
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (Princeton, 1944), game theory has been widely applied to problems in economics. Until recently, however, its usefulness in political science has been underappreciated, in part because of the technical difficulty of the methods developed by economists. James Morrow's book is the first to provide a standard text adapting contemporary game theory to political analysis. It uses a minimum of mathematics to teach the essentials of game theory and contains problems and their solutions suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in all branches of political science.
Morrow begins with classical utility and game theory and ends with current research on repeated games and games of incomplete information. The book focuses on noncooperative game theory and its application to international relations, political economy, and American and comparative politics. Special attention is given to models of four topics: bargaining, legislative voting rules, voting in mass elections, and deterrence. An appendix reviews relevant mathematical techniques. Brief bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter suggest further readings, graded according to difficulty. This rigorous but accessible introduction to game theory will be of use not only to political scientists but also to psychologists, sociologists, and others in the social sciences.
Review
"James Morrow's superb book provides the best account of ideas from game theory tailored to the interests of political scientists, which is currently available."--The Times Higher Education Supplement
Review
James Morrow's superb book provides the best account of ideas from game theory tailored to the interests of political scientists, which is currently available. The Times Higher Education Supplement
Synopsis
Game theory is the mathematical analysis of strategic interaction. In the fifty years since the appearance of von Neumann and Morgenstern's classic
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (Princeton, 1944), game theory has been widely applied to problems in economics. Until recently, however, its usefulness in political science has been underappreciated, in part because of the technical difficulty of the methods developed by economists. James Morrow's book is the first to provide a standard text adapting contemporary game theory to political analysis. It uses a minimum of mathematics to teach the essentials of game theory and contains problems and their solutions suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in all branches of political science.
Morrow begins with classical utility and game theory and ends with current research on repeated games and games of incomplete information. The book focuses on noncooperative game theory and its application to international relations, political economy, and American and comparative politics. Special attention is given to models of four topics: bargaining, legislative voting rules, voting in mass elections, and deterrence. An appendix reviews relevant mathematical techniques. Brief bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter suggest further readings, graded according to difficulty. This rigorous but accessible introduction to game theory will be of use not only to political scientists but also to psychologists, sociologists, and others in the social sciences.
Description
Includes bibliographical references (p. [355]-363) and index.
Table of Contents
| List of Figures and Tables | |
| Preface and Acknowledgments | |
Ch. 1 | Overview | 1 |
| What Is Game Theory? | 1 |
| What Can You Do with Game Theory? | 2 |
| Four Problems in Political Science | 3 |
| Why Model? | 6 |
| The Rational Choice Approach to Social Modeling | 7 |
Ch. 2 | Utility Theory | 16 |
| The Concept of Rationality | 17 |
| How Do Utility Functions Predict Actions? | 22 |
| An Example: Nixon's Christmas Bombing | 25 |
| Certainty, Risk, and Uncertainty | 28 |
| Utility Theory under the Condition of Risk | 29 |
| Some Common Misconceptions about Utility Theory | 33 |
| Utility Functions and Types of Preferences | 34 |
| A Simple Example: The Calculus of Deterrence | 38 |
| Another Simple Example: The Decision to Vote | 43 |
| Why Might Utility Theory Not Work? | 44 |
Ch. 3 | Specifying a Game | 51 |
| Formalizing a Situation: Deterrence in the Cuban Missile Crisis | 51 |
| Games in Extensive Form | 58 |
| Games in Strategic Form | 65 |
Ch. 4 | Classical Game Theory | 73 |
| Defining the Terms of Classical Game Theory | 74 |
| Domination, Best Replies, and Equilibrium | 77 |
| Mixed Strategies | 81 |
| The Minmax Theorem and Equilibria of Two-Person, Zero-Sum Games | 89 |
| Characteristics of Nash Equilibria | 91 |
| Nash Equilibria and Common Conjectures | 94 |
| Rationalizability | 98 |
| Political Reform in Democracies | 101 |
| Candidate Competition in the Spatial Model of Elections | 104 |
| A Very Brief Introduction to Cooperative Game Theory | 111 |
Ch. 5 | Solving Extensive-Form Games: Backwards Induction and Subgame Perfection | 121 |
| Backwards Induction | 124 |
| Subgame Perfection | 128 |
| Sophisticated Voting | 133 |
| Agenda Control | 135 |
| Legislative Rules and Structure-Induced Equilibria | 138 |
| The Rubinstein Bargaining Model | 145 |
| Bargaining in Legislatures | 149 |
| Why Might Backwards Induction Yield Counterintuitive Results? | 156 |
Ch. 6 | Beliefs and Perfect Bayesian Equilibria | 161 |
| Bayes's Theorem | 163 |
| The Preference for Biased Information | 166 |
| Perfect Bayesian Equilibria | 170 |
| Nuclear Deterrence | 180 |
Ch. 7 | More on Noncooperative Equilibrium: Perfect and Sequential Equilibria | 188 |
| Elimination of Weakly Dominated Strategies | 189 |
| Perfect Equilibrium | 192 |
| Sequential Equilibrium | 196 |
| Deterrence and the Signaling of Resolve | 199 |
| "Why Vote?" Redux | 212 |
Ch. 8 | Games of Limited Information and Restrictions on Beliefs | 219 |
| Signaling Games | 222 |
| The Informational Role of Congressional Committees | 227 |
| Bargaining under Incomplete Information | 237 |
| Deterrence and Out-of-Equilibrium Beliefs | 241 |
| An Introduction to Restrictions on Beliefs | 244 |
| "Cheap Talk" and Coordination | 250 |
Ch. 9 | Repeated Games | 260 |
| Thinking about Repetition: Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma | 262 |
| Folk Theorems | 268 |
| Finite Repeated Games: The Chain Store Paradox | 279 |
| Stationarity | 291 |
| Retrospective Voting and Electoral Control | 293 |
Ch. 10 | Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? | 302 |
| How Do Formal Models Increase Our Knowledge? | 302 |
| The Weaknesses of Game Theory | 305 |
| How Does One Build a Model? | 311 |
| Appendix 1: Basic Mathematical Knowledge | 315 |
| Algebra | 315 |
| Set Theory | 318 |
| Relations and Functions | 320 |
| Probability Theory | 320 |
| Limits | 322 |
| Differential Calculus | 323 |
| Partial Derivatives and Lagrange Multipliers | 327 |
| Integral Calculus | 329 |
| The Idea of a Mathematical Proof | 331 |
| Appendix 2: Answers to Selected Problems | 333 |
| Notes | 345 |
| Glossary of Terms in Game Theory | 349 |
| Bibliography | 355 |
| Index | 365 |