Toward a History of Game Theory

Toward a History of Game Theory

History of Political Economy Annual Supplement

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Book Pages: 200 Illustrations: Published: November 1992

Economics, History, Mathematics

During the 1940s "game theory" emerged from the fields of mathematics and economics to provide a revolutionary new method of analysis. Today game theory provides a language for discussing conflict and cooperation not only for economists, but also for business analysts, sociologists, war planners, international relations theorists, and evolutionary biologists. Toward a History of Game Theory offers the first history of the development, reception, and dissemination of this crucial theory.

Drawing on interviews with original members of the game theory community and on the Morgenstern diaries, the first section of the book examines early work in game theory. It focuses on the groundbreaking role of the von Neumann-Morgenstern collaborative work, The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944). The second section recounts the reception of this new theory, revealing just how game theory made its way into the literatures of the time and thus became known among relevant communities of scholars. The contributors explore how game theory became a wedge in opening up the social sciences to mathematical tools and use the personal recollections of scholars who taught at Michigan and Princeton in the late 1940s to show why the theory captivated those practitioners now considered to be "giants" in the field. The final section traces the flow of the ideas of game theory into political science, operations research, and experimental economics.

Contributors. Mary Ann Dimand, Robert W. Dimand, Robert J. Leonard, Philip Mirowski, Angela M. O'Rand, Howard Raiffa, Urs Rellstab, Robin E. Rider, William H. Riker, Andrew Schotter, Martin Shubik, Vernon L. Smith



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