Game theory in the popular press.


Game theory and economics in the news

December 8, 2005 Slate, It's not your grandpa's moral hazard anymore
An economist worries about the moral hazard created by the medicare prescription drug benefit. (by Austan Goolsbee)
October 11, 2005 BusinessWeek, A nobel letdown in economics
In response to the 2005 Nobel Prize, argues that game theory is merely a theoretical pastime, and experimental economics is the hope of progress for economics. (by Michael Mandel )
September 2005 American Scientist, Cheating viruses and game theory
A certain bacteria-eatring virus plays the prisoner's dilemma, with "cheat" a substantial proportion evolving to play "cheat." (by Paul E. Turner)
August 29, 2005 The New Yorker, The moral-hazard myth
Argues that politicians have overstated the moral hazard problem in medical insurance, as few people would overconsume medical services. (by Malcolm Gladwell)
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)
May 18, 2005 CBS News, Listen to the children
Major auction houses forced to play rock-paper-scissors over rights to auction eccentric millionaire's art. "Sotheby's decided to leave its decision to chance, and had no particular strategy." (by Lloyd Garver)
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 18, 2005 Engadget, Interview: Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft
Steve Ballmer mentions "In the game theory of things, we assumed there was some probability" in analyzing entry decisions.
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)
May 14, 2005 The Washington Post, Read 'em and weep: Mags cash in on poker craze
Brief reference to professional poker player Chris Ferguson, who is known as "Jesus" and wishes to become a professor of game theory. (by Peter Carlson)
May 11, 2005 Rutland Herald, VT, Mathematicians earn post office stamp of approval
Discusses the introduction of a new United States postage stamp honoring John von Neumann
May 4, 2005 The Economist, The tragedy of the commons, contd
A cause for the world's diminshing supply of fish "is the age-old 'tragedy of the commons', whereby anyone with access to a shared valuable resource has an interest in over-exploiting it, and it is in nobody's interest alone to maintain it."
May 3, 2005 The Times of India, Dogmatic rationality becomes irrelevant
(by Ashok Vohra)
May 2, 2005 CFRA News, Ottawa, Teen loses game of chicken with train
Not a good idea. (by Josh Pringle)
May 1, 2005 ABC News, Who's counting: math in narratives
Reviews the trend in film and on television to incorporate mathematical themes, including the film A Beautiful Mind and the show Numb3rs. (by John Allen Paulos)
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 29, 2005 Financial Times, Jungle Theories
A rather scathing review of Paul Omerod's "Why Things Fail" which includes references to bounded rationality and evolutionary game theory in explaining business failures. (by Paul Ormerod)
April 29, 2005 New York Times, Rock, Paper, Payoff: Child's Play Wins Auction House an Art Sale
Major auction houses forced to play rock-paper-scissors over rights to auction eccentric millionaire's art. "Sotheby's decided to leave its decision to chance, and had no particular strategy." (by Carol Vogel)
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)
April 19, 2005 Financial Times, Rules that breed selfish conduct
Prisoners' dilemmas are only troublesome when people are assumed to be selfish. Yet, if we predicate public policy on reciprocity and cooperation, better outcomes would result. (by John Kay)
March 12, 2005 New Scientist, Charity begins at Homo sapiens
Reviews the work of Ernst Fehr and others on altrusim and reciprocity in economic experiments. (by Mark Buchanan)
February 2005 Fast Company, You got game theory!
A somewhat disingenuous critique of game theory in which the author finds that no academic game theorist can provide concrete examples of game theory used by businesses. (by Martin Kihn)
January 31, 2005 Newsweek, Does your iPod play favorites?
People see patterns even when none exist, such as in IPod's randomization feature. This presents a behavioral challenge for mixed strategies. (by Steven Levy)
January 20, 2005 The Economist, Games people play
An evolutionary take on public goods contribution experiments, in which subject populations may converge to mixed strategies
2005 Beliefnet, Rooting for the Joneses
Describes the human emotion of jealousy as "a perfect paradigm of insufficiency: I am less because you are more. It's a zero-sum game." (by Marc Ian Barasch)