The goals of the course to provide students with a foundation to:
(i) Apply game-theoretic analysis, both formally and intuitively, to negotiation and bargaining situations.
(ii) Recognize and assess archetypal strategic situations in complicated negotiation settings.
(iii) Feel comfortable in the process of negotiation.
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course is a survey of the main ideas and techniques of game-theoretic analysis related to bargaining, conflict, and negotiation. As such, the course emphasizes the identification and analysis of archetypal strategic situations frequently occurring in bargaining situations.
The course has a strong experiential component. Students will repeatedly participate in a variety of strategic situations thereby developing the ability to translate their analyses into practice.
To help to bridge the gap between the analytic tools and their use in the real-world business situations, you will be asked to prepare an “issue-spotting analysis” due on the 7th week of class. This analysis, which should be 5-10 pages long, asks you to analyze a real-world issue “ripped from the headlines” where the techniques of game theoretic analysis might be fruitfully applied to aid in developing strategy. You will be asked to make a 10 minute presentation of the issue you chose and your analysis during class. (40%)
The final project, which is the “capstone” component to the class, asks you to find an issue or situation of strategic relevance where you can bring to bear a variety of ideas and techniques developed during the course. The final project can be a broadening and deepening of the issue-spotting analysis you did earlier or can be on a completely separate issue. Again, you are free to work in groups. (60%)
One-third of your grade for this project is determined by a 10 minute oral presentation during the 15th week of class.
The remaining two-thirds of your grade for the project is determined by a 10-20 page write-up of your analysis. The page limit is based on a double-spaced paper exclusive of any tables or exhibits you wish to include.
Additional bibliography for study
Gibbons, R., Game Theory for Applied Economists, Princeton University Press, 1992.
Dixit, A. and B. Nalebuff, The Art of Strategy, WW Norton, 2008
Dixit, A. and B. Nalebuff, Thinking Strategically, WW Norton, 1991.