Game Theory for Economists

Game Theory for Economists

Year: 2018-2019
Course code: ECON4053
Course credits: 15
Taught: Semester 2
Course co-ordinator: Dr John Levy
Entry requirements: Normally admission to an honours programme in Economics.  Please note that students who have previously taken Game theory with applications to finance and business are excluded from taking this course.
Available to visiting students: Yes
Contact for more informationGillian Weir

Course description

The course reviews the main concepts of Game Theory, both in the non-cooperative and cooperative models, and explains their importance in economics and other social sciences. Concepts covered include: maximin and minimax, Nash equlibrium in pure and mixed strategies, Correlated equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium, repeated games, and core stability. The course stresses the application of these concepts to economic models of market equilibrium, oligopolistic competition and public good provision, as well as voting and other simple experimental set ups like the ultimatum and the guessing games.

Learning and teaching methods

20 hours of lectures (10 x 2 hours), Wednesday, 9.00-11.00 am, and 5 1-hour tutorials (held fortnightly at varying times).

Course texts

Self-contained notes are distributed. No textbook is required, but if you wish to buy a text, my favourite is An Introduction to Game Theory, by Osborne, OUP 2004. There are many more at various technical levels, such as Games of Strategy by Dixit, Skeath and Reiley, Norton, 2009, and Gibbons’ Game Theory for Applied Economists, Princeton.


A 1-hour in-course exam (30%)
A 2-hour degree exam (April/May) (70%)