Winter Term, 2012
Welcome to the Economics 171 Website. Here you will find the
course syllabus, a schedule of lessons, homework and examinations, and
some bits of advice. Students in this class will be expected to
check this site regularly. I will routinely use this site
for posting announcements and homework assignments.
Be sure to
register your i>clicker and bring it to class next time we
meet. To register, go online to www.iclicker.com and click the Register Your i>clicker button.
For those who haven't yet got your textbooks, I have made and posted
pdf copies of Harrington's Chapter 2 at
this link and Chapter 3 at this
link. I am not allowed to make any more chapters than this, so you
will have to either get a text or make arrangement to borrow somebody's
copy to go beyond Chapter 3.
Lecture Notes:I will
occasionally post PowerPoint slides form the lectures. These are
far from complete,
because we also use the blackboard and oral discussion.
They do not serve as a substitute for
reading the textbook.
Subgames and imperfect
Bayes Nash Equilibrium
Infinitely Repeated Games
Two-population evolutionary games
Oilfield Experiment Instructions
Auction Record Sheets
There was not much evidence of Winners' Curse in our classroom
Of the 14 auction winners, 3 lost money, 4 broke even and 7 made
The average profit of auction winners was about $300,000.
Game theory is the study of the
interaction of rational decision makers. This theory has become a
fundamental tool in the study of social interaction in economics,
political science, anthropology, sociology, animal behavior,
biology, computer science and other disciplines. In this course
we introduce basic concepts of game theory and explore a variety of
The main study resource for this course is the textbook is Games, Strategies, and Decision
by Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. For those
who haven't yet got your copies of the text, I have made and posted pdf
copies of Harrington's Chapter 2 at this
and Chapter 3 at this link.
the course for you?
If you are looking for an easy course
and generous grades for low performance, this is not the course
for you. There is regular assigned reading and homework and
frequent unannounced in-class quizzes. You will be expected
to come to class and to have done the assigned reading before you come
to class. I will use clickers to record attendance and will
call on people regularly. I do not hesitate to give failing
grades to those who show no evidence of having learned the course
You will be required to bring an i>clicker to class. If
you don't already have one, they are available for purchase at the
campus bookstore. If you haven't already done so, you will
need to register your i>clicker at the following website.
If you are intellectually curious and are willing and able to put
in the effort to read the assigned material, work the assigned
homework problems, and show up in class having done your assignments, I
think that you will find the course stimulating and
Basis for grades
The weights that I will assign in determining your
course grade are as follows.
I will drop everyone's lowest homework score when calculating course
Homework, in-class quizzes, and clicker scores, 20%
Midterm 1: 25%
Midterm 2: 25%
Final Exam: 30%.
Schedule of Assignments
You will be expected to do the assigned readings BEFORE you come to
There will be frequent unannounced quizzes on the reading
material. Some of the
quizzes will be brief written answers to a question about your
readings. Some will
use the clickers.
Our schedule, like the weather report, will become more
detailed and more accurate
as the scheduled week approaches.
January 10 and 12
1 and 2.
A pdf copy of Chapter 2 can be found at this link.
As you read, do the "Check Your Understanding Exercises."
Answers to these are found in the back of the book. You do not
need to turn these in, but you should do them.
Due January 12:
problems 2 and 3 pp 49-50
Tuesday, Jan 17 Harrington
Thursday, Jan 19, Harrington Chapter 4, pp 89-100
A pdf copy of Chapter 3 can be found at
due Tuesday Jan 17: problems Chap 2-- 5, 6, and 8 and 11 pp 50-53,
due Thursday Jan 19 problems Chap 3--1, 4, 5, and 8 pp 79 -81
Jan 24 Harrington: Finish Chapter 4, Read
due Tuesday, Jan 24: Chap 3, Problems 9 and 10 pp 82-83,
Chap 4, problems 1 and 2 and the problem
at this link.
For Thursday, Jan 26, I will not ask you to hand in homework, but I
recommend that for your own benefit, you work as many of
the remaining problems in
Chapters 4 and 5 as you can.
First Midterm, Jan 31. Exam covers
Feb 2, Harrington
Chapter 7, sections 7.1-7.2
Before coming to class on Feb 2, also read The Purloined Letter
by Edgar Allan
Poe. A copy is available at this
(Be able to describe the game played by the
eight-year-old marble player. What do you think of his strategy?)
Feb 7, Finish
Chapter 7, Read Chapter 8, sections 8.1-8.3
Feb 9, Finish Chapter 8.
Due Feb 7 Problems 1, 4, 5, 8, and 11 pp 212-214.
Due Feb 9 Problems 1, 3, 4 , and 5 pp 244-253
Week 6: Readings:
Feb 14, Read Chapter 9.
Due Feb 14 Problem 8 page 251 and Problems 1, 3, and 4 pp
Feb 16, Read Chapter 10 sections 10.1-10.3
Week 7: Readings:
Feb 21 Finish reading Chapter 10, Read Chapter 11 pp 325-333
Feb 23 Finish Chapter 11
Homework due Feb 21. Do the two problems at
and also Problem 3 on page 314.
A solution for the Alice-Bob homework problem.
A Note on the Wyatt Earp problem from your text.
Tuesday, February 28
Thursday, March 1, Read Chapter 12
Tuesday, March 6, Read Chapter 13
Homework Due March 6: Problem 1, page 382 and these three problems from midterm
Thursday, March 8, Read Chapter 14
Homework Due March 8: Problem 1, page 411 and Problem 7, page 414
Tuesday, March 13, Read Chapter 16
Homework due Tuesday:
Chapter 16, Problems 2, 3, and 4.
And as a finale for turned in homework assignments--Try Problem 6
for extra credit.
Thursday, March 15, Read Chapter 17
No homework to be turned in on Thursday.