Introduction to Game Theory: Sequence Guide

by Scott Alexander1 min read28th Jun 20126 comments


Game Theory

This sequence of posts is a primer on game theory intended at an introductory level. Because it is introductory, Less Wrong veterans may find some parts boring, obvious, or simplistic - although hopefully nothing is so simplistic as to be outright wrong.

Parts of this sequence draw heavily upon material from The Art of Strategy by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, and it may in part be considered a (very favorable) review of the book accompanied by an exploration of its content. I have tried to include enough material to be useful, but not so much material that it becomes a plagiarism rather than a review (it's probably a bad idea to pick a legal fight with people who write books called The Art of Strategy.) Therefore, for the most complete and engaging presentation of this material, I highly recommend the original book.

All posts will be linked from here as they go up:

1. Introduction to Game Theory: Sequence Guide
2. Backward Reasoning Over Decision Trees
3. Nash Equilibria and Schelling Points
4. Introduction to Prisoners' Dilemma
5. Real World Solutions to Prisoners' Dilemmas
6. Interlude for Behavioral Economics
7. What Is Signaling, Really?
8. Bargaining and Auctions
9. Imperfect Voting Systems
10. Game Theory As A Dark Art

Special thanks to Luke for his book recommendation and his strong encouragement to write this.