Reading Seminar on ​​​​​​​Game Theory and Its Applications with Professor Avidit Acharya

- Avidit Acharya

Discussion Type: Reading Seminar | Date: 04 Sep 2023 | Time: 10:00 AM


Applications Requested for a Reading Seminar on Game Theory and Its Applications
With Professor Avidit Acharya

Organized by Martin Chautari

Course Description:
Game theory has revolutionized the way we think about group behavior in fields from economics and political science to evolutionary biology. This class offers a brief introduction to game theory, focusing on its many applications in the social sciences. Topics include political competition, oligopoly, social dilemmas, market failures, institutional design, and conflict resolution.

About the Instructor:
Avidit Acharya is a professor of political science at Stanford University. Acharya’s game theoretic contributions have been published in some of the world’s most prominent journals in economics and political science, including Econometrica and American Journal of Political Science. In his research, he applies game theory to the study of elections, conflict and bargaining, and principal-agent problems. He is an advisory editor at Games and Economic Behavior, one of the two flagship journals of the Game Theory Society, as well as a managing editor at the journal Social Choice and Welfare. Before joining the Stanford faculty, Acharya taught in the economics and political science departments of the University of Rochester. He has a PhD from Princeton University, and a BA from Yale University.  

Seminar Dates: Six meetings [September 4 (Monday), September 6 (Wednesday), September 8 (Friday), September 11 (Monday), September 13 (Wednesday) and September 15 (Friday)]

Time: 03:00 pm – 05:00 pm

Venue: Martin Chautari Seminar Hall, Thapathali, Kathmandu.

Course Fee: NRs. 10,000 (Up to 50 percent discount will be offered to students on a need-basis. If you apply for the discount, please include a one paragraph explanation of your financial situation.)

Eligibility Requirements: (i) You must be studying at the Bachelors level or have at least a Bachelor’s degree. (If your degree is not in the social sciences, e.g., engineering, please include a one paragraph explanation of your interest, and any past experience in social science, e.g., journalism, development work, etc. Priority will be given to students who have a social science degree, and who  are studying or have completed a Master’s degree, but we will also consider other applicants); (ii) You should be willing to do all the assigned work; (iii) You should be able to read English proficiently; and (iv) You should be comfortable recalling high school (SLC/SEE) level mathematics.

Application Process: Please submit a one-page CV of yours with full contact details including your current email address and telephone numbers. For online applications, please fill up this Google Form and attach the requested CV as indicated in the form. You can also submit the above in person at MC’s office (27 Jeet Jung Marg, Thapathali, Kathmandu) in a closed envelope that states “Application for the Reading Seminar on Game Theory and Its Applications” on the front side. The application deadline is Saturday, August 26, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday, August 29, 2023. They will have to enroll by Friday, September 1, 2023 by paying the course fee to Martin Chautari.

Soft copies of the reading materials will be provided after the payment.

Successful applicants can make the payment either in cash at the front desk of Martin Chautari during office hours, or they can pay it electronically (via e-Sewa id 9848867217).

For further information, please contact:
Martin Chautari
Tel: 5338050, 4102027, 4102243

The schedule below is aspirational. We will likely not cover all the topics listed. We will see how things go and try to cover as much as we can.

Class I:  Mathematical Arguments in the Study of Individual and Collective Decision-making

  • Expected Utility Theory
  • Impossibility Theorems (Arrow and Gibbard-Satterthwaite)
  • Condorcet’s Arguments about Democracy (The Condorect Jury Theorem)
  • Knowledge and Rationality: Aumann’s Formulations

Class II:  Noncooperative Game Theory and Nash’s Contributions

  • Competition, Coordination, and Social Dilemmas
  • Nash Equilibrium
  • Applications: Political Competition, Contest Theory, the Tragedy of the Commons, and the Collective Action Problem

Class III:  The Commitment Problem

  • Subgame Perfection, Backwards Induction, Bargaining, Repeated Games
  • Applications: Tacit Collusion in Oligopoly, Protracted Conflict

Class IV:  Asymmetric Information

  • Bayesian Nash and Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium
  • Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard
  • Applications: Signaling and reputation, Principal-Agent Problems, Political Accountability

Class V:  The Game Theorist as Engineer

  • Market Design: Auctions and Matching
  • Institutional Design: Electoral Rules
  • Information Design: Persuasion

Class VI:  Open Questions and the Future of Game Theory

  • Behavioral Approaches
  • The Robustness of Game Theoretic Predictions
  • Game theory and Artificial Intelligence
- Avidit Acharya

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