Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

December 23, 1999 Nature, Good news for losers
Alternating between two losing gambles can lead to winning
October 23, 1999 New York Times, Selling Fashion Models' Eggs Online Raises Ethics Issues
Internet auctions take a strange turn in allocating ova to highest bidders.
August 23, 1999 New York Times, Multimedia Transmissions Drive Net Toward Gridlock
Lack of Internet pricing schemes leads to a tragedy of the commons and high congestion.
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.
May 3, 1999 Forbes, The wild one
Understanding incentives may explain why helmet laws increase fatalities
May 1, 1999 New Jersey Lawyer, Negotiating better results for your clients
Rules for negotiation and repeated encounters
April 14, 1999 Financial Times, Playing chicken can clip one's wings
Describes how the game of chicken applies not only to film versions of teenage angst, but also to common business situations. (by John Kay)
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.
April 1, 1999 The Atlantic, Living in Candlestick Park
International relations: replacing game-theoretic models with ones from geology
April 1, 1999 Nature, Phage-lift for game theory
Primitive phages, bacteria-infecting viruses, play the prisoner's dilemma on a genetic, evolutionary level.
March 19, 1999 Slate, The agony of victory
How online auctions worsen the winner's curse by introducing more and more irrational bidders.
February 4, 1999 The Economist, Quantum computing: playing games
Quantum computing can revolutionize game theory with a new breed of mixed strategies
January 29, 1999 Commonweal, Who's driving: the market's dilemma
Incorrectly describes a stock market bubble as a prisoner's dilemma but does describe the boundedly rational greater fool theory.
October 31, 1998 New Scientist, Theory on stage
Letter noting that dramatists can view character development in terms of game theory.
October 10, 1998 New Scientist, Don't get even, get mad
Drama Theory attempts to reconcile game theory with irrationality, emotional commitment.
October 5, 1998, The brightest and the brokest
Moral hazard in the Fed's bailout of Long Term Capital Management
October 1, 1998 Physician's News Digest, IPAs confront market challenges
Risk management and incentive pay in physician groups.
October 1, 1998 Fast Company, Decisions, decisions
Famous people describe their decision-making paradigms
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)
July 1, 1998 Business Week, Game theory wasn't meant to be a forecasting tool
A brief letter on game theory 's use in business to model interactive decision-making.
July 1998 American Scientist, Animal contests as evolutionary games
Evolutionary game theory explains how animals react to meeting a rival from the same species face to face. (by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons and Eldridge S. Adams)
June 11, 1998 Nature, Help and you shall be helped
Can cooperation in prisoner's dilemma -type games evolve without repeated interaction, through indirect reciprocity?
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.
February 6, 1998 Slate, Uninsured-Motorist Fun
Both high and low auto insurance premiums can be self-fulfilling prophecies, as two equilibria exist. The better equilibrium, overcoming adverse selection, may come about by mandating insurance. (by Steven E. Landsburg)
1998 The Slab, Tit for Tat
Describes the use of tit for tat throughout the natural world and notes Axelrod's findings.
December 19, 1997 New Statesman, How about some Christmas brain-teasers with a twist?
Suggests Shubik's dollar auction as a fun family activity (though offers no disclaimer to the likely feud that will result).
November 24, 1997 The Business Journal (Milwaukee), In match penny stock theory, playing to win is a losing bet
Why beating the S&P is like playing matching pennies
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.
July 1, 1997 Pollution Engineering, Industry, regulators learn to play the game
Pollution regulation is a prisoner's dilemma between companies and regulators
June 10, 1997 New York Times, Frog's Unusual Diet for a Longer Life: A Medley of Toxins
Poisonous frogs adopt different behaviors than their nonpoisonous kin, including brighter colors and dayime activity. (by Verne G. Kopytoff)
April 19, 1997 New Scientist, Game theory backs crackdown on petty crime
Zero-tolerance policing is a game of chicken between cops and sociopaths.
March 14, 1997 Financial Times, Lemon economics
Only recently have economists provided explanations for the existence of advertising. It may be informative, reducing the lemons problem, or a commitment device, by "burning money." (by John Kay)
December 2, 1996 Wireless Week, Cities bought cheaply: F-block bids go at penny a pop
The new round of the FCC specrum auctions received low prices in some areas, due to bidding increment rules and relatively low turnout.
November 18, 1996 Wall Street Journal, Even a losing bid can pay off
Examines strategic moves that result in other participants paying you to play the game.
October 28, 1996 Los Angeles Times, Improbable inspiration
Bayesian networks underly many of Microsoft's technologies, from diagnosing problems to knowing when a user needs advice.
September 1, 1996 Business 2.0, Business as a war game
Bell Atlantic Chairman explains use of game theory in modern management
July 6, 1996, More sex is safer sex
Justifies promiscuity and subsidization of condoms by examining probability, imperfect signals, and externalities
May 1, 1996 MAA Online, The five percent solution
Reflections on the role of math and game theory in business
April 1996 Fast Company, Seven Card Stud
A winning poker player shares his formula for success, which apparently includes a flawed, rudimentary understanding of game theory. (by Alan Deutschman)
March 29, 1996 Financial Times, On the trail of a good bet
Describes people's attitudes towards very unlikely risks, and the implications for finance, insurance, and government policy. (by John Kay)
January 25, 1996 Investor's Business Daily, Let Game Theory Begin: Anticipating Your Rival
Discusses the role of game theory in business
1996 Montana Chess News, Celebrity interview
Mock-interview of Star Trek's Spock incorporates rationality and common knowledge
October 1, 1995 Libertarian Party News, Proportional voting system would benefit the LP
Examines alternatives to the electoral college and the strategic voting implications of each.
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.
September 1, 1993 Atlantic Monthly, Can selfishness save the environment?
The Greenhouse Effect results from a tragedy of the commons which can be overcome with tit-for-tat strategies.
April 1, 1983 The Freeman, Free riders face a rocky road
Argues that even though employees free ride on union power by receiving benefits without being members, this is a valid check on union power.
1968 Science, The Tragedy of the Commons
The cornerstone article popularizing the notion of tragedy of the commons.