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Classics in Game Theory [Hardcover]

Harold William Kuhn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Feb. 3 1997 Frontiers of Economic Research

Classics in Game Theory assembles in one sourcebook the basic contributions to the field that followed on the publication of Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern (Princeton, 1944). The theory of games, first given a rigorous formulation by von Neumann in a in 1928, is a subfield of mathematics and economics that models situations in which individuals compete and cooperate with each other. In the "heroic era" of research that began in the late 1940s, the foundations of the current theory were laid; it is these fundamental contributions that are collected in this volume. In the last fifteen years, game theory has become the dominant model in economic theory and has made significant contributions to political science, biology, and international security studies. The central role of game theory in economic theory was recognized by the award of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1994 to the pioneering game theorists John C. Harsanyi, John Nash, and Reinhard Selten. The fundamental works for which they were honored are all included in this volume.

Harold Kuhn, himself a major contributor to game theory for his reformulation of extensive games, has chosen eighteen essays that constitute the core of game theory as it exists today. Drawn from a variety of sources, they will be an invaluable tool for researchers in game theory and for a broad group of students of economics, political science, and biology.


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"This volume assembles in one sourcebook the basic contributions to the field [of game theory]. . ."--LEnseignement Mathematique

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ONE MAY define a concept of an n-person game in which each player has a finite set of pure strategies and in which a definite set of payments to the n players corresponds to each n-tuple of pure strategies, one strategy being taken for each player. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars more for specialists Dec 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I love this book -- but this is what I do. I doubt someone looking to learn game theory on their own is going to find this of any interest. Any serious student of game theory should find it very useful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic April 1 2000
Format:Paperback
This book takes you through the land that Von Neumann, in my opinion, created. There is no way any game theorist or game theory novice can appreciate the lenghts to which the field has expanded, without first understanding its roots. It contains the actual report, where Nash defined what is now the basis for all game theory, the Nash equilibrium! That is true excitement
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic March 31 2000
By Scott C. Woodruff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book takes you through the land that Von Neumann, in my opinion, created. There is no way any game theorist or game theory novice can appreciate the lenghts to which the field has expanded, without first understanding its roots. It contains the actual report, where Nash defined what is now the basis for all game theory, the Nash equilibrium! That is true excitement
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more for specialists Dec 5 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love this book -- but this is what I do. I doubt someone looking to learn game theory on their own is going to find this of any interest. Any serious student of game theory should find it very useful.
5.0 out of 5 stars A bargain Dec 27 2013
By Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This compilation reprints classic papers from the foundational period of game theory, the 1950s and 60s. This book is not for the beginner or even the advanced student. Contemporary textbooks such as Binmore's 'Playing for Real' (for undergraduates) or Fundenberg and Tirole's 'Game Theory' (for graduate students) do a much better job of presenting game theory as it is currently understood and practised. The benefits of hindsight are clear if one compares the discussion of extensive form games in these textbooks to Kuhn's classic paper or the discussion of Bayesian games to Harsanyi's paper. Also, because the latest paper in this collection is from 1975 you will find little mention of current topics like algorithmic game theory, repeated games, evolutionary game theory or mechanism design.

But after having studied the textbooks sometimes you would still want to read the original papers to get a better sense of the context and motivation for an idea. Sometimes it is only in these papers that you get a glimpse of conceptual problems that have been glossed over in later works. At those times this book will save you many trips to the photocopier. The papers have been retypeset very neatly and so far I have not been able to find any typos.

If you are buying this you may also want to get the two volumes of Aumann's collected works, which in many ways continue the story that this book begins.
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