This course is intended as an application of game theory. The choice of topics may vary with instructor and year. For Spring 2022, the course will focus on applications of game theory towards understanding problems of economic development. Game theory is the study of strategic decision making by individual agents. One of the most important insights of game theory is that self interested behaviour by economic agents can lead to suboptimal social outcomes. Problems of economic development may themselves be viewed as situations where the society is trapped in inferior outcomes despite individuals striving for better outcomes. Economic development is, therefore, a very fruitful field for application of game theory. This is what this course will focus on. Some of the topics we will study are development traps, environmental problems, land tenure arrangements in agriculture, problems of savings and credit in developing societies, social learning, institutions and property rights, conflict and violence and problems of establishing trust in society. In every topic, the focus will be on how game theoretic modeling can help us understand these problems better and allow us to look for solutions.
Prerequisites: ECO 2102 (Microeconomic Theory II)