Political Game Theory: An Introduction / Edition 1

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Political Game Theory is a self-contained introduction to game theory and its applications to political science. The book presents choice theory, social choice theory, static and dynamic games of complete information, static and dynamic games of incomplete information, repeated games, bargaining theory, mechanism design, and a mathematical appendix covering logic, real analysis, calculus, and probability theory. The methods employed have many applications in various subdisciplines including comparative politics, international relations, and American politics. Political Game Theory is tailored to students without extensive backgrounds in mathematics and traditional economics; however, many special sections present technical material appropriate for more advanced students. A large number of exercises are also provided for practice with the skills and techniques discussed.

About the Author:
Nolan McCarty is Associate Dean and Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton Univeristy

About the Author:
Adam Meirowitz is Associate Professor of Politics and Jonathan Dickenson Bicentennial Preceptor at Princeton University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"At last, a challenging but accessible graduate-level text for a serious course in game theory for political scientists. Teaching game theory in the context of political-science examples, this book will be the standard text for many years to come." Robert Powell, Berkeley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521841078
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Series: Analytical Methods for Social Research Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 446
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Nolan McCarty is Associate Dean and Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. His recent publications include Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches (2006 with Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal), The Realignment of National Politics and the Income Distribution (1997 with Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal), as well as many articles in periodicals such as the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science.

Adam Meirowitz is Associate Professor of Politics and Jonathan Dickenson Bicentennial Preceptor at Princeton University. Recent publications include Probabilistic Voting and Accountability in Repeated Elections with Uncertain Policy Constraints (2006) in the Journal of Public Economic Theory and In Defense of Exclusionary Deliberation: Communication and Voting with Private Beliefs and Values (2006) in the Journal of Theoretical Politics. He is a recipient of the Heinz Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association and the Robert H. Durr award from the Midwest Political Science Association.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     1
Organization of the Book     3
The Theory of Choice     6
Finite Sets of Actions and Outcomes     7
Continuous Choice Spaces     11
Utility Theory     18
Utility Representations on Continuous Choice Spaces     20
Spatial Preferences     21
Exercises     25
Choice Under Uncertainty     27
The Finite Case     27
Risk Preferences     38
Learning     46
Critiques of Expected Utility Theory     51
Time Preferences     57
Exercises     62
Social Choice Theory     66
The Open Search     66
Preference Aggregation Rules     6
Collective Choice     76
Manipulation of Choice Functions     82
Exercises     85
Games in the Normal Form     87
The Normal Form     89
Solutions to Normal Form Games     93
Application: The Hotelling Model of Political Competition     101
Existence of Nash Equilibria     107
Dominance and Mixed Strategies     113
Calculating NashEquilibria     115
Application: Interest Group Contributions     117
Application: International Externalities     119
Computing Equilibria with Constrained Optimization     121
Proving the Existence of Nash Equilibria     123
Comparative Statics     126
Refining Nash Equilibria     138
Application: Private Provision of Public Goods     140
Exercises     145
Bayesian Games in the Normal Form     150
Formal Definitions     152
Application: Trade Restrictions     154
Application: Jury Voting     156
Application: Jury Voting with a Continuum of Signals     159
Application: Public Goods and Incomplete Information     161
Application: Uncertainty About Candidate Preferences     164
Application: Campaigns, Contests, and Auctions     166
Existence of Bayesian Nash Equilibria     168
Exercises     169
Extensive Form Games     171
Backward Induction     175
Dynamic Games of Complete but Imperfect Information     177
The Single-Deviation Principle     184
A Digression on Subgame Perfection and Perfect Equilibria     185
Application: Agenda Control     186
Application: A Model of Power Transitions     192
Application: A Model of Transitions to Democracy     193
Application: A Model of Coalition Formation     197
Exercises     201
Dynamic Games of Incomplete Information     204
Perfect Bayesian Equilibria     208
Signaling Games     214
Application: Entry Deterrence in Elections     219
Application: Information and Legislative Organization     227
Application: Informational Lobbying     232
Refinements of Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium     236
Exercises     248
Repeated Games     251
The Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma     252
The Grim Trigger Equilibrium     253
Tit-for-Tat Strategies     256
Intermediate Punishment Strategies     258
The Folk Theorem     260
Application: Interethnic Cooperation     263
Application: Trade Wars     269
Exercises     273
Bargaining Theory     275
The Nash Bargaining Solution     275
Noncooperative Bargaining     281
Majority-Rule Bargaining Under a Closed Rule     286
The Baron-Ferejohn Model Under Open Rule     291
Bargaining with Incomplete Information     294
Application: Veto Bargaining     296
Application: Crisis Bargaining     307
Exercises     318
Mechanism Design and Agency Theory     320
An Example     321
The Mechanism Design Problem     323
Application: Polling     326
Auction Theory     328
Application: Electoral Contests and All-Pay Auctions*     334
Incentive Compatibility and Individual Rationality     339
Constrained Mechanism Design     342
Mechanism Design and Signaling Games     361
Exercises     366
Mathematical Appendix     369
Mathematical Statements and Proofs     370
Sets and Functions     372
The Real Number System     376
Points and Sets     378
Continuity of Functions     380
Correspondences     383
Calculus     384
Probability Theory     404
Bibliography     417
Index     423
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