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Progress in Behavioral Game Theory

Camerer, Colin F. (1997) Progress in Behavioral Game Theory. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11 (4). pp. 167-188. ISSN 0895-3309.

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Is game theory meant to describe actual choices by people and institutions or not? It is remarkable how much game theory has been done while largely ignoring this question. The seminal book by von Neumann and Morgenstern, The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, was clearly about how rational players would play against others they knew were rational. In more recent work, game theorists are not always explicit about what they aim to describe or advise. At one extreme, highly mathematical analyses have proposed rationality requirements that people and firms are probably not smart enough to satisfy in everyday decisions. At the other extreme, adaptive and evolutionary approaches use very simple models-mostly developed to describe nonhuman animals-in which players may not realize they are playing a game at all. When game theory does aim to describe behavior, it often proceeds with a disturbingly low ratio of careful observation to theorizing.

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Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 1997 American Economic Association. Comments from Linda Babcock, Kong-Pin Chen, Vince Crawford, Bob Gibbons, Teck Ho, Matthew Rabin, JEP editors (Brad D e Long, Alan Krueger and Timothy Taylor) and many Seminar audiences were helpful. This work resulted from many collaborations and conversations, Especially with Gerard Cachon, Teck Ho, Eric Johnson, Risto Karjalainen, Marc Knez, Richard Thaler, Roberto Weber and Keith Weigelt. Support of NSF SBR 9511001 and the Russell Sage Foundation is gratefully appreciated.
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NSFSBR 9511001
Russell Sage FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
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Official Citation:Progress in Behavioral Game Theory Colin F. Camerer The Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 11, No. 4 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 167-188 Published by: American Economic Association Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22122
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Feb 2011 17:05
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:34

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