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Economics, Games and Decisions



  • a. Introduce the basic concepts of classical game theory.
  • b. Examine the strengths and limitations of classical game theory for understanding economic phenomena.
  • c. Introduce modern game-theoretic concepts and methods, which go beyond the classical methods and can be applied more broadly.
  • d. Explore in depth two cases in which modern methods are yielding valuable results: two-sided matching and heuristic optimization for service design.


Knowledge and skills prerequisites: 

An introductory course in microeconomics, and intellectual maturity.


In this three-session series we will introduce the basics of game theory as it pertains to economics and economic analysis. We will assess its proper uses and its limitations, and examine modern efforts to overcome these limitations. Sessions two and three will be devoted to exploring areas of economic analysis for which modern methods are being applied with considerable success, in particular two-sided matching for managing labor markets, and heuristic optimization for district design and social mapping. These problems appear in many forms in economic contexts. Our approach is both specific (examining particular models with real data) and generic (discussing how the principles in play can be applied to other contexts). This session is a combination of about interactive sessions, working with exercises and software that explore strategic decision making in economic contexts.