Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

August 10, 2006 Wired News, Drugs: Sports' Prisoner's Dilemma
The decision to take steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs is a dominant strategy, leading to a prisoner's dilemma (by Bruce Schneier)
July 27, 2006 USA Today, Batter up! Sports economics hits field
Discusses why economic analysis of sport is becoming increasingly more common (by Sue Kirchhoff)
June 24, 2006 Slate, World Cup Game Theory
Optimal soccer penalty kicks require the use of mixed strategies. Zidane and Buffon are cited not only as world-class players but also master strategists. (by Tim Harford)
May 21, 2005 The Indian Express, Bombay, Football's zero-sum game
From the "reportes pointing out the painfully obvious" department, this reporter notes that the final match of the FA Cup is a "zero-sum game." (by Jayaditya Gupta)
December 12, 2004 New York Times, The designated hitter as moral hazard
Baseball pitchers deliberately target hitters more often in the American League, where the pitchers do not have to take a turn at bat (by Daniel H. Pink)
March 29, 2004 EurekAlert, Why AL batters get beaned more often
Moral hazard allows AL batters to get hit by pitches more often than NL batters since the designated hitter rule precludes a tit-for-tat response.
March 1, 2004 Wisden Asia Cricket, The humanising factor
Discusses the international importance of India-Pakistan cricket matches and notes that sport and war are often zero-sum games.
February 1, 2004 New York Times, Incremental analysis, with two yards to go
David Romer's analysis suggesting that football teams punt too often is considered by the New England Patriots. (by David Loenhardt)
February 1, 2004 Boston Globe, Pigskin Pythagoras
Chronicles one man's attempt to bring sanity and careful calculations into football strategy. (by Jascha Hoffman)
January 20, 2004 New York Times, Subconsciously, athletes may play like statisticians
Athletes appear subconsciously to apply Bayes' Rule and to play equilibrium mixed strategies
December 19, 2003 Slate, Number Crunching: Why doesn't football have a Bill James?
A more reasoned approach to football strategy determines the value of each field position to calculate optimal play calling. (by Josh Levin)
October 27, 2003 Salt lake Tribune, Use your head
Short letter to the editor notes that moral hazard leads to more head injuries for skiers wearing helmets than for those foregoing the safety gear.
October 24, 2003 Chicago Sun-Times, Prof offers proof Cubs have only themselves to blame
Game theory helps determine likely outcome of game if fan had not interfered.
April 7, 2003 AScribe, Stealing bases just doesn't pay, says baseball game theorist
The threat of stealing a base keeps the opponent guessing but few games are won due to base stealing.
February 17, 2003 Slate, Fortune 500, meet Daytona 500: What NASCAR can teach us about business
Race cars drafting resemble a stag hunt game; racers balance cooperation and aggression.
October 31, 2002 ESPN, Fourth-down analysis met with skepticism
Paul Romer's findins that teams should punt less often given the odds criticized by professional coaches.
October 18, 2002 Slate, Conspiracy at State College
Joe Paterno's seeming irrationality may be commitment device to instill fear in officials.
August 19, 2002 SF Gate, Cal prof says teams should go for it more often on fourth down
American football coaches should punt less often, given the odds.
March 6, 2002 New Scientist, Maths picks moment for soccer super subs
Soccer coaches substitute players too late in the game according to new mathematical models.
January 5, 2002 The Diamond Angle, The winner's curse
Baseball players are like oil wells, in that poor bidding strategy for either leads to the winner's curse. (by David Marasco)
August 18, 2001, NBA team as status symbol becoming more like an idol.
Cities cought in a prisoner's dilemma over recruiting basketball teams.
February 19, 2001 Nature News Service, Secret of sports thrills spilled
Every sport is identical, in a sense, as all are random walks.
April 23, 2000 The Observer, Sold to the slyest bidder
Information and toeholds in auctions for UK soccer teams
February 7, 2000 First Monday, Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCAR's biggest speedways
Race cars drafting (tailgating) go faster together resembles a stag hunt game