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An Introduction to Game Theory to Understand Organisational Strategy and Public Policy

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €599 one-time
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Course Description
Game theory is employed to analyse conflict situations, recognize guiding principles that determine stable outcomes, and identify ways in which certain responses may be induced. Rooted in philosophy, economics, and mathematics, the science of game theory is increasingly finding applications in management and politics, becoming integral to decision-making and policy formulation.
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the approach, concepts, and methodology of game theory using simple puzzles compiled over nearly two decades of teaching game theory, along with articles from reputable newspapers (e.g., The New York Times) addressing contemporary societal problems.
Through working on such puzzles, students will gain practice with examples, enabling them to analyse real-world problems described in articles with game-theoretic tools. The originality of this course is that the application of abstract concepts shrouded in complex mathematics will be demystified using cartoons, newspaper texts and simple puzzles.
Thus, this would be a unique opportunity for those without a background in mathematics or economics to understand the principles of game theory and learn to apply them in understanding strategic problems or conflicts, with logic at the centre of all analysis.

• Recognize whether a context is a decision or a game.
• Represent the ‘game’ in any strategic situation.
• Predict whether a stable solution is possible in a strategic interaction.
• Recognize certain paradigms of conflict situations.
• Understand the built-in pitfalls and advantages of certain bargaining processes.
• Be able to identify and understand the role incentives play in contracts.
• Understand the role of information and how it is used strategically.
• Develop a better understanding of the game’s firms, governments, other intermediaries, consumers, and citizens play in our society and the challenges for sustainable development.

Recommended Literature
[1]. Thinking strategically: The competitive edge in Business, politics and everyday life by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff, W.W.Norton and Company, 1991.
[2] Games of strategy by Avinash K. Dixit, Susan Skeath, David H. Reiley, David Reiley, W. W. Norton & Company, 2009
[3] The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life by Dixit, Avinash K., and Barry Nalebuff. WW Norton & Company, 2008.
[4] Outplayed: How Game Theory Is Used Against Us by David Lockwood Greenleaf Book Group, 2022.
[5] Introducing Game Theory: A Graphic Guide by Ivan Pastine (Author), Tuvana Pastine (Author), Tom Humberstone (Illustrator) Icon Books, 2017

Teaching Methods
Lectures, Work in Sub-groups, Assignments, Presentations , Research

Assessment Methods
Portfolio: ▪ Assignment ▪ Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Presentation ▪ Take home exam

Course Coordinator
Shyama V. Ramani

Programme structure

Hybrid Lectures:
During the first week the teacher will be onsite and during the second week she will be online. Each week, the class will be held for 4 days and on each day, there will be a class of 2 hours. On the fifth day, the students can ask any questions during the contact hours.

Content and Structure:
• Brief introduction to games vs. decisions.
• Introduction to simultaneous interaction.
• Introduction to sequential interaction.
• Strategizing under informational constraints.
• Designing contracts with incentives.
• Achieving cooperation under non-cooperative situations.

Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
10 May 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
10 Jun 2024
Apply now! Maastricht Summer School 2023/24
Application deadline
10 May 2024, 23:59:59
Central European Time
Studies commence
10 Jun 2024