Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

December 18, 2004 New Scientist, Interview: Return of a 'beautiful mind'
Interview with John Nash about economics, mental illness, and the film based on his life (by Michael Brooks )
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)
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 18, 2004 Wired News, Awarding the brains behind AI
Daphne Koller, winner of the MacArthur "genius award," develops methods for calculating mixed strategies.
October 17, 2004 New York Newsday, States up for grabs dwindling
Allocation of resources across states by presidential candidates is a zero sum game.
October 15, 2004 Wall Street Journal, Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord -- But scientists differ [pdf]
What happens when people play public contribution games during a brain scan? We discover that people like punishing defectors even at a cost to themselves.
October 13, 2004 Wired News, New tack wins Prisoner's Dilemma
A modern updating of Axelrod's tournament finds a strategy that beats tit for tat in the prisoner's dilemma, but only by sacrificing team mates.
September 30, 2004 ABC News, How we guess what others will do
An introduction to the p-beauty contest and its repeated play, with some vague application to financial markets (by John Allen Paulos)
September 8, 2004 Financial Times, Game theory helps insurers to judge the risks of terror
A model offers game theoretic predictions of the likelihood of terrorist attacks.
September 2004 Monash University Newsline, Invasive ants form giant supercolony in Melbourne
Colonies of generally competitive ants have been found with a genetic mutation that turns off competitiveness and allows for large-scale cooperation (by Ingrid Sanders)
July 31, 2004 New Scientist, Why we do what we do
Decribes progress in the science of decision-making, including economic, psychological, and neurological perspectives. (by Laura Spinney)
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.
April 8, 2004 Fox News, Private investment protects environment where government fails
Environmental protection suffers from the tragedy of the commons where public lands suffer due to a lack of property rights.
April 1, 2004 Mercury News, Wages are key to offshoring
Argues that outsourcing of American jobs is a tragedy of the commons in which each company raises its profits but leads to less purchasing power at home.
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 28, 2004 Times UK, Recession and other terrorist myths
Notes that international cooperation to fight terrorism is a prisoner's dilemma with each nation having incentive to do less than its share.
March 25, 2004, Lawmakers voice doubts about health savings accounts
Cites arguments that adverse selection will lead to only the healthiest accepting medical savings accounts, leaving remaining workers with higher health costs.
March 22, 2004 The New Yorker, Times regained
New York City development suffers from a tragedy of the commons in which no one has incentive to invest in the quirky, but the City benefits from the weird.
March 12, 2004 Chicago Maroon, A treatise on dating: the Prisoner's Dilemma
Student paper notes that college dating is a prisoner's dilemma with payoffs expressed in "exclusivity points" (yup, it's a stretch).
March 8, 2004 Dallas Morning News, Physics, economics turn out to be twin sciences
Relates game theory to statistical mechanics and discusses possible crossover between the two fields.
March 2, 2004 Miami Herald, Wireless world awaits next big move
Cites an executive who notes that to sift through future scenarios for the telecom industry, "you need game theory to work them all out."
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 24, 2004 NPR, The Not So Random Coin Toss
Coins are more likely to end up facing the same way they started the coin toss, calling into question their use as a method of resolving disputes.
February 3, 2004 BBC News, One in 10 workers 'incompetent'
Employer surveys reveal that many employees are not proficient, partly due to training and partly due to moral hazard and poor incentive structures.
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 28, 2004 New York Times, In Online Auctions, Misspelling in Ads Often Spells Cash
Amusing article about how misspelled auction listings are less likely to be found and thus create an arbitrage opportunity. (by Diana Jean Schemo)
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
2004 Auction World, The winner's curse
A leading auctioneer discusses the winner's curse, reflecting industry experience but only a vague, rudimentary view of auction theory (by Deb Weidenhamer)