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Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict Paperback – October 15, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0674341166 ISBN-10: 0674341163

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674341163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674341166
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In a clear, Myersonian writing style, this book systematically describes our state-of-the-art knowledge of game theory. Written as an introductory text, it looks at the subject from the viewpoint of a newcomer to the field, beginning with utility theory and arriving at the most sophisticated ideas discussed today. Myerson not only gives complete mathematical statements and proofs, but also supplies the intuitive arguments that motivate them...Because of its comprehensiveness, researchers and users of game theory can find descriptions of almost all special game theoretic topics and issues presented in "user friendly" style...It is very likely that Myerson's Game Theory will remain the main introductory text for many years to come. (Ehud Kalai Games and Economic Behavior)

Exposing an applied mathematics field on a basic level poses a challenge to an author, namely, to find the proper mix of displaying the models, providing the motivation and presenting the mathematical results and derivations. This is even more true in a field like game theory, where the models are not universally acceptable as adequately depicting real applications. The author, in the text under review, is doing remarkably well. The models are displayed with enough details and explanations to generate motivation even in newcomers to the field...All in all, it is a very good elaborate introduction to game theory. (Zvi Artstein Mathematical Reviews)

Myerson provides a good introduction to game theory, focusing on the 'generality and unity of game theory' rather than on its extensive applications. After a brief overview of Bayesian decision theory, noncooperative and cooperative models of games are explored in the context of their solutions, results, and guiding methodological principles. The relative merits of the extensive form and the strategic form of a game are illustrated, which lead naturally into an analysis of equilibria for each representation. Special extensions are discussed, including games with communication, repeated games, and noncooperative games that introduce the elements of bargaining and coalitions...The book has interesting and challenging problem sets for each chapter as well as a bibliography for students who want to study in more depth specific topics in game theory. (Choice)

A very well-written introduction to game theory. (American Mathematical Monthly)

About the Author

Roger B. Myerson is Harold L. Stuart Professor of Decision Sciences at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society.

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Customer Reviews

I love this book for its clarity.
A. Gupta
If you want a more lighthearted introduction to game theory, without all the equations, I highly recommend "Thinking Strategically" by Dixit and Nalebuff.
Joseph B. Schulz
If you are reading the book and want it to be more mathematically rigorous, which I like, simply find the paper he references.
jacob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

268 of 280 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Gintis on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just completed a game theory book (Game Theory Evolving, Princeton University Press, 2000). To find the best way to present various materials, I went through virtually every game theory book in existence. For the presentation of the basic material on normal and extensive form games, nothing even came close to this book in clarity of presentation and depth of understanding of the issues. Most textbooks, even highly touted ones that are mathematically challenging, do not even come close, and rarely even present the material in a coherent form at all.
I used to do a lot of carpentry, and I always knew the good carpenters from the run of the mill. The latter talk about how to build stuff. The good ones talked about how you choose, preserve, treat, and sharpen your tools. Myerson is, for game theory, like the good carpenter, and this book is more about the nature of the tools of game theory than their deployment--although it is certainly that, too.
The subtitle of this book is silly ("The Analysis of Conflict"). Game theory is the analysis of cooperation as much as conflict, and much, much else as well. So is this book.
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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a masterpiece: it goes from the simple and straightforward (with examples of sequential equilibria) to technical and challenging material (such as the Mertens-Zamir type space). I own Fudenberg-Tirole and Osborne-Rubinstein, but it is Myerson that gets picked up the most. What I find most rewarding is that Myerson introduces everything gently, working from examples to build a general theory.
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Peralta-Alva on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book very helpful in my first year of the Ph D in Economics. I also have used MasColell and Kreps but Myerson was the only one that actually help me understanding complicated concepts as the always Hard Sequential Equilibrium. It is the only book that covers both, sequential and Perfect equilibrium with examples and solutions so that you understand what is going on. If you are willing to buy a Game Theory book I will definitely go for this one. If that is not enough you should also see that the cost benefit ratio of Myerson's book is undoubtly the best of any other one.
Adrian Peralta. Graduate Student University of Minnesota Economics Department
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph B. Schulz on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, containing an incredible wealth of knowledge. It's all explained very well, by one of the premier game theory experts in the world (who also won the Nobel Prize, by the way). I'm not surprised at all to see that this book has been reviewed by several Ph D students.

The only problem is that it's a difficult read. Don't be fooled by the word "introduction" in the description: this book is packed with mathematics, and is written in a very dense, academic style. If you want a more lighthearted introduction to game theory, without all the equations, I highly recommend "Thinking Strategically" by Dixit and Nalebuff. It may not be quite as substantive as this tome, but it's a much better choice for the semi-casual reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Horacio Caniza on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is highly recommended for those starting in game theory and need its mathematical background.
It covers everything it should in a concise and accurate way. It is not for those not interested in the math underlying the theory.
If your choice is between Myerson's, and Rubinstein and Osborne's "A course in Game Theory", I would choose Myerson's for a first course, it's more detailed and therefore better for self study.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ? guy on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
excellent book,very comprehensive step by step approach.I especially enjoyed the sections on Nash equilibria and infinite strategies.Great for those who wish to understand the underlying foundations of decision making via both simple and intricate mathematics. The concepts are also explained well in english through generally understood examples.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rafael G. on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good game theory textbook, but has some small flaws, with I would put into more detail later. The author is one of the most important game theorists of your time, and received the Nobel prize himself in 2007, however although he is an excellent theorist, his pedagogical skills are still imperfect.

I didn't read the entire book, but only the first 400 pages, so I don't hold the best position to evaluate this book compared to some readers here, with had almost memorized the book for their game theory courses. But I think that I am still qualified enough to talk about some details of the first 7 chapters of the book. One with left me a bit puzzled: Myerson said that the Myerson-Satterthwaite theorem converges in the limit to the competitive equilibrium type of efficiency when the number of players is multiplied, or at least argues that modern game theory helps to explain how such equilibrium can be reached, that is true, but his example is not adequate for this argument because competitive general equilibrium has some very important differences from a trading mechanism involving units of indivisible goods with infinite players. In this case (the mechanism) we have efficiency because a continuum of players of the same set of types makes a probability distribution of valuation turn into a certainty about the valuation of the group of individuals. The classical general equilibrium case is demonstrated by game theory as an special case of cooperative games with perfect information, divisible goods and an infinite number of players of each type, where are allocation that is not consistent with classical GE is outside the core. So, his comparison in that section is really incorrect: There is no direct connection between classical GE and that type of mechanism design problem.
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