Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

April 1, 2006 Slate, There's Not Enough Money in Politics
A clever argument, applying simple insights from auction theory, that lobbyists have less power than commonly imagined. (by Tim Harford)
May 18, 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer, Filibuster fight goes to core of the Senate
In the battle over the use of the filibuster in the United States Senate, members are "like testosterone-crazed teenage drivers locked in a game of chicken." (by Dick Polman)
May 16, 2005 The Journal News, NY, Lucas' dark finale feels forced
Star Wars movie review and political commentary notes the fallen hero "Anakin morphs into a zero-sum tyrant ... almost the mirror image of George W. Bush." (by Kevin Canfield)
April 30, 2005 New Scientist, Voters empowered by internet swap shop
Online vote swapping sites in the US and UK allow people to trade their votes for those in districts where they can have more impact. (by Celeste Biever)
April 29, 2005 Globe and Mail, Martin-Layton deal no surprise to some
Canadian politicians employ game theorists to assist in negotiation and deal-making with rival factions. (by Petti Fong)
April 19, 2005 The Guardian, UK, Signal your opposition
The Prisoner's dilemma applied to politics: "Most people won't vote for the minor parties because they expect other people not to vote for them, and therefore consider such a vote wasted" (by George Monbiot)
October 25, 2004 Slate, Game Theory for Swingers
What states should presidential candidates visit in the final days of their campaign? Some strategies are dominant, others are mixed. (by Jordan Ellenberg)
October 18, 2004 Yale Global Online, US Presidential campaigns and the world
Argues that outsourcing and globalization are not zero sum games as the presidential campaign may make some believe.
October 17, 2004 New York Newsday, States up for grabs dwindling
Allocation of resources across states by presidential candidates is a zero sum game.
April 13, 2004 Bloomberg, China's spending fury points to `moral hazard'
Local governments overspend due to moral hazard and inappropriate incentives rewarding growth without punishing expenditure.
October 27, 2003 FrontPage Magazine, Illegal immigrants reshape the political landscape
The distribution of Congressional suits proportional to population makes it a zero sum game, leading to battles over counting illegals.
September 23, 2003 KESO News Channel, Man behind recall urges Schwarzenegger or McClintock to drop out
Worried that the two republican frontrunners will split the vote, Congressman Issa issues a threat to oppose both.
September 23, 2003 New York Post, Why Clark will fade
Argues that the Clintons wish to change the game for personal gain, propping up weak candidates to prolong confusion.
September 11, 2003 New York Times, Two years later, a thousand years ago
A simplistic characterization of globalization and interdependence as making the world "more nonzero-sum," tying American prosperity to that of other nations.
September 8, 2003 Fresno Bee, Florez air bills may have to wait
Classic game of chicken in the State Assembly over an environmental bill as the legislative deadline nears.
September 5, 2003 Forward, Israeli economists' dangerous minds
Notes that economists are more greedy than other people in the ultimatum game. (by Avia Spivak)
August 1, 2003 New York Times, Schwarzenegger and top ally mum as filing deadline nears
As the recall election filing deadline approaches, Schwarzenegger and Riordan play game of chicken as only one should run, but should enter at the final moment.
July 31, 2003 Freezerbox, Who profits from erasing Iraq's debt?
A Pentagon advisor believes that financiers of "vicious dictatorships" should face a moral hazard but perhaps the hazard is for not supporting US efforts?
July 27, 2003 New York Times, How to vote? Let us count the ways
Describes alternative voting systems and metions Arrow's Impossibility Theorem (by Michael Cooper)
July 11, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle, Republicans agree, in theory, to unite on one candidate
California republicans face a tragedy of the commons as more candidates entering against Governor Davis implies a smaller chance of any Republican winning.
June 24, 2003 New York Times, A mathematician crunches the Supreme Court's numbers
Do Supreme Court members vote independently or are there clear and repeating patterns?
May 15, 2003 Slate, Both sides now
A game theoretic analysis of the Middle East conflict, considering irrationality and whether the game is or is not zero-sum
April 21, 2003 The Guardian, Writing off tyrants' debt is a principle that should be extended to even poorer nations
Does forgiving post-war Iraq its pre-war debts create a moral hazard for other countries?
March 20, 2003, The mother of all gambles
Financial auction markets are better predictors of world events, from terrorism to elections.
February 7, 2003 BBC News, The maths of Lords reform
Models of strategic voting inform how different procedures in Britain's legislature may lead to distinct outcomes.
January 12, 2003 New York Times, A surge in saber-rattling at the precipice
Describes the origin of the word brinkmanship and the game of chicken from James Dean to Iraq.
November 19, 2002 MSNBC, Capitol Hill's last-minute maneuvers
The game of adding pork to important legislation through bill riders represents a political game of chicken.
November 5, 2002 New York Times, Departing Chief Says I.R.S. Is Losing War on Tax Cheats
Auditing tax payers requires mixed strategies but greater enforcement costs require proportionally greater funding.
November 2, 2002 Science News, Election Selection: Are we using the worst voting procedure?
Discusses different voting systems and how the outcomes depend greatly on the specific rules employed.
October 22, 2002 Daily Trojan (USC), Exorcising the ghosts of American foreign policy
Argues Kissinger's foreign policy based on zero-sum game theory.
September 9, 2002 The Guardian, Terror training
Alan Dershowitz argues that a credible commitment not to negotiate with terrorists decreases terrorist attacks.
August 9, 2002 The Independent, IMF's $30bn bailout for Brazil sends lenders the wrong signal
International monetary fund bail-outs cause moral hazard, bad investments (by Philip Thornton)
March 18, 2002 InformationWeek, Playing The Nonzero-Sum Game March
Globalization has transformed relationships into non-zero sum games
February 25, 2002 Christian Science Monitor, Partisan 'game of chicken' over jobless benefits, tax cuts
In an election year, which party will blink first in game of chicken over tax cuts and benefits?
December 1, 2001 Psychiatric Times, World leaders not immune to trauma
How world leaders play games and maintain rationality under stress
November 5, 2001 New York Magazine, The domino theory
Mayoral race in New York includes cascades, strategic voting, and games of chicken
October 31, 2001 The, Moral hazard lights flare around bailouts
Government aid to the insurance industry presents a moral hazard problem
October 10, 2001 Nature, Machiavellian tactics modelled
Strategic voting suggests that we may want to vote for our enemies to improve our situation.
June 18, 2001 Business Week, California's giant game of chicken
Energy companies play game of chicken with regulators
November 1, 2000 Discover, May the best man lose
Examines alternate voting systems such as the Borda count and notes that John McCain's chances would have been better without a plurality system.
October 31, 2000 Wired, Vote trade: the democratic way?
Nader and Gore supporters demonstrate strategic voting by swapping votes.
September 1, 2000 Campaign for America, The billionaire's buyout plan
Warren Buffett proposes to change the rules of the campaign finance strategic voting game
April 1, 1999 The Atlantic, Living in Candlestick Park
International relations: replacing game-theoretic models with ones from geology
October 1, 1995 Libertarian Party News, Proportional voting system would benefit the LP
Examines alternatives to the electoral college and the strategic voting implications of each.