Game Theory for Political Scientists / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

The Times Higher Education Supplement
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.
From the Publisher
"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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691034300
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 646
  • Sales rank: 1,074,111
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.31 (d)

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
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2003

    Good Intro to Game Theory

    This book is an excellent introduction to Game Theory. It does not assume you have any prior knowledge on the subject, but quickly teaches you what you need to know to get into some interesting problems. By the end of the book it gets deep into areas of Game Theory such as Baysian Equalibrium and repeated games. It provides everything you need to know to be comfortable with Game Theory.

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