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Insights into Game Theory
An Alternative Mathematical Experience


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  • Date Published: November 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521696920

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About the Authors
  • Few branches of mathematics have been more influential in the social sciences than game theory. In recent years, it has become an essential tool for all social scientists studying the strategic behaviour of competing individuals, firms and countries. However, the mathematical complexity of game theory is often very intimidating for students who have only a basic understanding of mathematics. Insights into Game Theory addresses this problem by providing students with an understanding of the key concepts and ideas of game theory without using formal mathematical notation. The authors use four very different topics (college admission, social justice and majority voting, coalitions and co-operative games, and a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud) to investigate four areas of game theory. The result is a fascinating introduction to the world of game theory and its increasingly important role in the social sciences.

    • An innovative, non-technical introduction to key topics in game theory
    • Suitable for readers with only a basic understanding of mathematics
    • End-of-chapter exercises enable students to monitor progress and understanding of key concepts
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    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Game theory has come of age - it can now be taught to children! This book shows how beautiful and significant insights of Game Theory can be obtained using elementary mathematics and sophisticated reasoning. Highly recommended!' Sergiu Hart, Alice Kusiel and Kurt Vorreuter University Professor, Center for Rationality, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and President of the Game Theory Society

    'This book presents some of the most beautiful and insightful results game theory has to offer. The authors do an admirable job in opening up the oyster of mathematical formalism and jargon that usually encloses these pearls, making them accessible to any reader willing to engage in some serious - and rewarding - thought.' Igal Milchtaich, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Bar-Ilan University

    'This beautiful textbook adds a new tool to the 'mathematical toolbox' that is game theory: to be used in the treatment of a 'fear of mathematics.' Starting with interesting real-life questions, it provides the reader with an excellent training in mathematical thinking and reasoning, without her or him even noticing it. It is a remarkable achievement in mathematics teaching, empirically tested in classrooms by the authors.' Shmuel Zamir, Professor, Center for the Study of Rationality, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    'I wish I could have read this book when I was in high school. It is a marvellous introduction to some topics in game theory for the mathematically inclined reader that does not require extensive mathematical training. The topics are interesting and engage the reader. The presentation allows the reader to work through the logic of the arguments and see how they could be extended beyond the examples in the book.' James D. Morrow, Professor of Political Science and Research Professor at the Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan

    'Game theory is becoming a major framework for analyzing competition and cooperation in the social sciences. Gura and Maschler's book provides a wonderful perspective on the utility of game theory in social sciences by analyzing problems of justice, matching and more. The analysis is presented in a very appealing way so that every student can understand it. This unique book is an excellent addition to the literature on game theory.' Zur Shapira, William Berkley Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management, Stern School of Business, New York University

    'There are well chosen question exercises after different sections and also review exercises at the end of each chapter. … The book is suitable for any one wanting to understand why game theory is so influential and relevant even to daily life activities … It has had and is still having a deep and long lasting influence in social sciences, operations research and computer science.' Mathematics Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521696920
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 87 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Mathematical matching
    2. Social justice
    3. The Shapley value in cooperative games
    4. Analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud
    Answers to the exercises

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • Conflict, Cooperation, and Choice
    • Evolutionary Game Theory
    • Game Theory
    • Game Theory, Economics, & Everyday Life
    • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Authors

    Ein-Ya Gura, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Ein-Ya Gura is Senior Lecturer in the Rothberg International School and a member of the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    Michael Maschler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Michael B. Maschler is Professor of Mathematics and a member of the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Maschler is one of the most distinguished game theorists in the world. With Robert Aumann (co-winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics), he solved a 2000-year-old puzzle on inheritance laws in the Talmud.


    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009

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