Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

July 21, 2006 The Record (Troy, NY), Game of chicken goes bad
Failing to learn from James Dean, and suffer a head-on auto collision as both refuse to lose in a game of chicken (by James V. Franco)
March 16, 2006 ABC News, Mission impossible: In search of strangers in New York City
The theory of focal points suggests that random strangers should be able to find each other in New York City in this Primetime experiment.
October 11, 2005 BusinessWeek, A nobel letdown in economics
In response to the 2005 Nobel Prize, argues that game theory is merely a theoretical pastime, and experimental economics is the hope of progress for economics. (by Michael Mandel )
May 11, 2005 Rutland Herald, VT, Mathematicians earn post office stamp of approval
Discusses the introduction of a new United States postage stamp honoring John von Neumann
March 12, 2005 New Scientist, Charity begins at Homo sapiens
Reviews the work of Ernst Fehr and others on altrusim and reciprocity in economic experiments. (by Mark Buchanan)
December 18, 2004 New Scientist, Interview: Return of a 'beautiful mind'
Interview with John Nash about economics, mental illness, and the film based on his life (by Michael Brooks )
October 18, 2004 Wired News, Awarding the brains behind AI
Daphne Koller, winner of the MacArthur "genius award," develops methods for calculating mixed strategies.
March 22, 2004 The New Yorker, Times regained
New York City development suffers from a tragedy of the commons in which no one has incentive to invest in the quirky, but the City benefits from the weird.
March 12, 2004 Chicago Maroon, A treatise on dating: the Prisoner's Dilemma
Student paper notes that college dating is a prisoner's dilemma with payoffs expressed in "exclusivity points" (yup, it's a stretch).
March 8, 2004 Dallas Morning News, Physics, economics turn out to be twin sciences
Relates game theory to statistical mechanics and discusses possible crossover between the two fields.
February 3, 2004 BBC News, One in 10 workers 'incompetent'
Employer surveys reveal that many employees are not proficient, partly due to training and partly due to moral hazard and poor incentive structures.
October 30, 2003 Courier-Journal, Motorcycle deaths rise after helmet-law repeal
Refutes the moral hazard argument that helmet laws make riders less safe by empowering them to take on more risks.
September 7, 2003 New Haven Register, SCSU student tackles the U.S. electoral system
Analyzes the power of each voter under varying presidential election rules.
September 5, 2003 Forward, Israeli economists' dangerous minds
Notes that economists are more greedy than other people in the ultimatum game. (by Avia Spivak)
August 28, 2003 Economist, To have and to hold
Discusses common evidence of irrationality and a possession effect in economics.
July 27, 2003 Bay City News, Game of chicken turns deadly for SJ youth
If there was such a thing as the "game Theory Darwin Awards," these two participants in a carless version of game of chicken would likely win.
June 28, 2003 New York Times, Calculating the irrational in economics
Recaps a behavioral economics conference and discusses some common failures of rationality.
May 19, 2003 Gotham Gazette, Fighting over outdoor space
A modern-day tragedy of the commons as dogs, bicycles, cafes, and others compete for New York's limited sidewalks.
May 1, 2003 Economist, Signal failure?
Summarizes a RAND article by Feltovich, Harbaugh To, which argues that, in a population of three types of people, the best types may send " countersignals."
April 24, 2003 Arizona Republic, Sad reality behind the American (Airlines) way
The subsidization of the airline industry creates a moral hazard as airlines do not face the risk of loss.
April 18, 2003 ASU Web Devil, Let the sunlight of honesty disinfect cheating plague
Academic cheating is pervasive and creates a prisoner's dilemma as people may elect cheat to stay competitive.
April 1, 2003 Fast Company, Mars wins the shipping game
Food giant Mars Inc. applies game theory and auction theory to improve logistics and decrease shipping costs.
February 13, 2003 Cyber India Online, Games people play: A different theory
An interview with game theorist Avinash Dixit about the fundamentals of game theory (by Chinmayee S)
January 24, 2003 Chronicle of Higher Education, Taking on 'rational man'
Chronicles the heterodox movement in economics and discusses the relaxation of rationality assumptions.
January 10, 2003 Economic Times (India Times), Discovering Nash at division of mango loot
Amarty Sen addresses John Nash's bargaining solution arguing for the inclusion of equity and fairness notions.
October 11, 2002 Business Week, Nobel laurels for an odd couple
Nobel prize awarded for pioneering work in experimental economics and behavioral game theory.
October 10, 2002 Washington Post, Two Americans to share Nobel Prize in economics
Nobel prize awarded for pioneering work in experimental economics and behavioral game theory.
August 31, 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Union keeps Midwest Express guessing
Union uses mixed strategies in threatening slowdowns to gain upper hand in negotation
August 1, 2002 Discover, The Mathematics of... Auctions: Going Once, Going Twice
Overbidding in auctions and quantal response equilibria.
July 31, 2002 Wired, Game theory for real people
Argues for interdisciplinary approaches to game theory to replace rational paradigms.
June 12, 2002 Nature, We're doomed to dither
Describes simulations of the minority game, a congestion game in which one prefers not to be part of the crowd.
May 1, 2002 Dollar & Sense, What can radicals learn from game theory?
An introduction to social struggle as a prisoner's dilemma in which the role of government is to devise the right game to be played. (by Alejandro Reuss)
September 6, 2001, Sell me a story
Why are buildings in the same city of different heights? Negotiation may lead to higher profits from each building.
September 28, 2000 Economist, In praise of Bayes
Discusses the rise of Bayesian statistics and reasons for the existence of detractors.
August 25, 2000 CNN Money, De Beers buffs its image
Discusses the transformation of the diamond cartel in light of greater competition.
July 2000 American Scientist, Mathematical devices for getting a fair share [pdf]
A lengthy introduction into both cooperative and non-cooperate game-theoretic elements of fair division. Includes a good synopsis of cooperative solution concepts. (by Theodore P. Hill)
July 14, 1999, A-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-o-n. The economics of deferred gratification
Examines how future-looking utility-functions can call rationality into question.
April 9, 1999 Slate, My way to the eBay
Summarizes the theory of first versus second and private versus common value auctions but also discusses the role of addiction to auctions.
September 30, 1998 Financial Times, A scientific formula for playing games in the dark
An introduction to Nash equilibria in coordination games and their associated problems in practice, including equilibrium selection. (by John Kay)
June 11, 1998 Business Week, The tortured genius behind game theory
A book review of A Beautiful Mind about John Nash.
June 4, 1998 Nature, Mathematics: The big match
Mixed strategies provide a solution for working and shirking in a mythical kingdom.
October 7, 1997 Wall Street Journal, Shipping price-fixing pacts hurt consumers, critics say
Discusses the operation of legal cartels in the ocean shipping industry.
September 29, 1997 Wall Street Journal, Easel pickings: For this art collector, priceless paintings are get-out-of jail cards
Reducing sentences for art thieves in return for stolen art creates perverse incentives to steal more.
November 13, 1994 New York Times, The lost years of a Nobel laureate
John Nash biographer Sylvia Naser discusses the Game theorist's life and work.
1968 Science, The Tragedy of the Commons
The cornerstone article popularizing the notion of tragedy of the commons.