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University of Rhode Island — Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
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EEC 529 – Game Theory
Course Information

Professor: Dr. James Opaluch
Semester: Spring
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: EEC 528 or permission of instructor

Catalog Description: Analysis of situations of conflict and cooperation, with economics and business applications. Introduction to cooperative and non-cooperative games, including the extensive and strategic forms, Nash equilibrium, repeated games, and bargaining.

Course Goals & Outcomes

Have you ever wondered why if there are two gas stations in any given area, they are usually located very close to each other? Or why two supermarkets in competition with each other will have the same or similar products on sale? Or why prisoners have trust issues and cheat on each other if given the opportunity? In order to maximize their well-being, agents such as gas stations or supermarkets or individuals act or react strategically to each other’s actions. This course will familiarize you with concepts of game theory. Game theory facilitates the understanding of strategic behavior among individuals or market participants. In this course you will learn about cooperative and non-cooperative games, Nash equilibria, auction markets, signaling games and mechanism design.

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

  • Recognize and models strategic situations
  • Apply game-theoretic analysis to negotiation settings
  • Exploit strategic situation for your own well being
  • Develop simple game theoretical models for their research
Course Syllabus

Class topics:

  • Static non-cooperative games
    • Introduction
      • Basic game theory concepts
      • One player games
      • Introduction to strategic, extensive, and coalition forms
    • Strategic form
      • Dominant strategies
      • Constant sum games
      • Pure strategy Nash equilibria
      • Mixed strategy Nash equilibria
  • Dynamic non-cooperative games
    • Dynamic games and the extensive form
      • Sub-game perfection
      • Complete information dynamic games
    • Repeated games
      • Finite repeated games
      • Infinite repeated games
    • Evolutionary stable strategies
      • Hawks and doves
      • Cooperative games and reproduction
      • Red king, red queen
      • Evolution of cooperation
  • Games with imperfect and incomplete information
    • Bayesian games
      • Static Bayesian games
      • Dynamic Bayesian games
  • Bargaining and cooperative games
    • Bargaining
      • Nash bargaining solution
      • Kalai-Smorodinsky bargaining solution
    • N-Person games and coalition
      • Non-cooperative and cooperative N-Person games
      • The core
      • Shapley values
      • Bargaining sets & objections
  • Game theory topics
    • Principal agent games
      • Complete and imperfect information
      • Imperfect information
      • Incomplete information
    • Auction markets
      • Complete information
      • Incomplete information
    • Signaling games
      • Asymmetric information and the market for lemons
      • Costly signaling
      • Reputation
    • Behavior and game theory
About The Professor

Dr. James J. Opaluch
Professor & Department Chair
Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
210 Kingston Coastal Institute
Office: 401.874.4590
Fax: 401.782.4766

Dr. Opaluch is a resource economist specializing in decision research and policy simulation. His current research interests include:

  • technological change in offshore oil industry and
  • ecosystem services restoration.
Reasons To Take This Course

This course will provide you with the opportunity to develop your strategic thinking. More, you will sharpen your ability to evaluate various solutions to particular problems, economic or social, to find the one that will yield the highest possible payoff.

Cool Links
  • Game - a great resource for educators and students of game theory or anyone interested in improving their knowledge of this study area.
  • Game Theory Society - “The Game Theory Society aims to promote the investigation, teaching, and application of game theory.”