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on October 13, 2014
very good for game theorists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
This book is considered one of the standard texts amongst behavioural and experimental economists. This text is not intended as a casual read for the non-economist, since it does draw on some basic notions of game theory. However material is presented in clear yet concise writing that many academics should learn from. I would say this text is best suited either for someone studying behavioural and/or experimental economics, or an economist who wants to know why these areas are becoming such a big deal. Content coverage is really good, covering most areas that are well established in the literature.

Highly recommended
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
This book is an extremely well organized presentation of key theories and evidence in behavioral game theory, a subset of topics from the field of behavioral economics. I have often assigned chapters 1 and 2 in behavioral economics classes at Harvard and Duke, and recommended other chapters to students who want to learn about Learning theory. (I would cheerfully assign the other chapters if I happened to be covering those topics, but there's only so much you can squeeze into a 1-semester undergraduate course!)

The book has many strengths. First, Camerer is one of the Very Important Scholars in behavioral economics, and there are less than a handful of people (Matt Rabin) who could conceivably be argued to be more authoritative on the subject matter. Second, Camerer makes extraordinarily good use of summary tables, explicit sections/subsections/subsubsections, summary paragraphs, and the like to help the reader keep track of the details, and to quickly locate the particular details of interest. Third, the introductory chapter offers a wonderful and intuitive introduction to the field; I have often started the first class of a new semester by reproducing the experiments in the chapter as classroom demonstrations. Fourth, the appendices to the introduction offer a good overview of economics experiments and of game theory (no substitute for a full textbook on game theory, of course, but a good refresher, and enough to get the bare bones of the subject). I expect the reader will quickly find many other reasons to admire this book.

This is NOT a book for a casual read by a non-economist. It's a textbook, or a handbook for economists and other people with a reasonable mathematical background who want to see, in one place, the most important results in behavioral game theory (as of a few years ago). It's also designed to present scholarly research, which means the reader should be prepared for the scholar's willingness to leave a lot of loose ends lying around and NOT to claim to know the definitive answers to the questions.

If you are a lay person looking for a behavioral economics book for the general audience, you should probably look to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge or Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational. All three of those authors are first-tier scholars and major contributors to the literature in their own right, and those books are written with a non-specialist audience in mind.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2008
The required math knowledge to truly understand game theory is rather intense, and this book will allow one to put their knowledge to the test. However, the book also enables readers with limited math skills to appreciate and conceptually understand what behavioral game theory is, how it works, and the implications it has on future research in the strategic/behavioral theory camps.
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