The two essays in this classic work by sociologist Erving Goffman deal with the calculative, gamelike aspects of human interaction. Goffman examines the strategy of words and deeds; he uses the term "strategic interaction" to describe gamelike events in which an individual's situation is fully dependent on the move of one's opponent and in which both players know this and have the wit to use this awareness for advantage. Goffman aims to show that strategic interaction can be isolated analytically from the general study of communication and face-to-face interaction. The first essay addresses expression games, in which a participant spars to discover the value of information given openly or unwittingly by another. The author uses vivid examples from espionage literature and high-level political intrigue to show how people mislead one another in the information game. Both observer and observed create evidence that is false and uncover evidence that is real. In "Strategic Interaction," the book's second essay, action is the central concern, and expression games are secondary. Goffman makes clear that often, when it seems that an opponent sets off a course of action through verbal communication, he really has a finger on your trigger, your chips on the table, or your check in his bank. Communication may reinforce conduct, but in the end, action speaks louder. Those who gamble with their wits, and those who study those who do, will find this analysis important and stimulating.
Perfect competition provides the model of a frictionless economy, in which price-setting economic agents behave independently of each other, abandoning to the market the coordination of their individual decisions. The implications of this model are extensively presented in the traditional price theory textbooks. Imperfect competition is the paradigm that develops as soon as economic agents interact in a conscious manner, which is the rule when competition takes place amongst a restricted number of agents. In this system, agents act strategically, taking into account the impact of their decisions on competitors' behaviour and on the price mechanism. Such situations commonly arise when firms differentiate their products, erect strategic entry barriers, or exploit the imperfect information of their customers about the price or characteristics of their product. This book explores the theoretical richness of these economic contexts, using some basic tools of game theory. Designed as an ancillary text for graduate students, it not only summarizes the historic contributions made by economic theorists such as Cournot and Edgeworth, but also makes accessible many of the most recent developments in the same field.
Carol and Michael Lowenstein Endowed Term Chair Cristina Bicchieri
Strategic interaction occurs whenever it depends on others what one finally obtains: on markets, in firms, in politics etc. Game theorists analyse such interaction normatively, using numerous different methods. The rationalistic approach assumes perfect rationality whereas behavioral theories take into account cognitive limitations of human decision makers. In the animal kingdom one usually refers to evolutionary forces when explaining social interaction. The volume contains innovative contributions, surveys of previous work and two interviews which shed new light on these important topics of the research agenda. The contributions come from highly regarded researchers from all over the world who like to express in this way their intellectual inspiration by the Nobel-laureate Reinhard Selten.
Game theory, the formalized study of strategy, began in the 1940s by asking how emotionless geniuses should play games, but ignored until recently how average people with emotions and limited foresight actually play games. This book marks the first substantial and authoritative effort to close this gap. Colin Camerer, one of the field's leading figures, uses psychological principles and hundreds of experiments to develop mathematical theories of reciprocity, limited strategizing, and learning, which help predict what real people and companies do in strategic situations. Unifying a wealth of information from ongoing studies in strategic behavior, he takes the experimental science of behavioral economics a major step forward. He does so in lucid, friendly prose. Behavioral game theory has three ingredients that come clearly into focus in this book: mathematical theories of how moral obligation and vengeance affect the way people bargain and trust each other; a theory of how limits in the brain constrain the number of steps of "I think he thinks . . ." reasoning people naturally do; and a theory of how people learn from experience to make better strategic decisions. Strategic interactions that can be explained by behavioral game theory include bargaining, games of bluffing as in sports and poker, strikes, how conventions help coordinate a joint activity, price competition and patent races, and building up reputations for trustworthiness or ruthlessness in business or life. While there are many books on standard game theory that address the way ideally rational actors operate, Behavioral Game Theory stands alone in blending experimental evidence and psychology in a mathematical theory of normal strategic behavior. It is must reading for anyone who seeks a more complete understanding of strategic thinking, from professional economists to scholars and students of economics, management studies, psychology, political science, anthropology, and biology.
In an earlier era, the communication field was dominated by the study of mediated and unmediated message effects during which considerable research focused on the attitudinal and action consequences of exposure to messages. A more catholic purview of the communication process exists today. This more encompassing perspective does not deny the importance of studying message effects, but raises the additional question of how individuals generate messages in the first place. While the earlier era of communication research was dominated by studies that focused on attitude and behavior change as primary dependent variables, such variables as message comprehension have begun to emerge in this new era. The focus on communication and cognition has led, paradoxically, to a more intense focus on social interaction processes. The theory and research presented in this volume seeks to strike a balance between the internal workings of the individual cognitive system on the one hand and the outer world of social interaction on the other. Whether or not the theory and research stands the test of time, it is clear that complete cognitive accounts of social interaction cannot confine themselves to mere descriptions of the cognitive structures and processes that are responsible for message production and comprehension. Explicit links must be made between these cognitive structures and processes and the workings of social interaction. This work takes a modest step in that direction.
The strategic-choice approach has a long pedigree in international relations. In an area often rent by competing methodologies, editors David A. Lake and Robert Powell take the best of accepted and contested knowledge among many theories. With the contributors to this volume, they offer a unifying perspective, which begins with a simple insight: students of international relations want to explain the choices actors make--whether these actors be states, parties, ethnic groups, companies, leaders, or individuals. This synthesis offers three new benefits: first, the strategic interaction of actors is the unit of analysis, rather than particular states or policies; second, these interactions are now usefully organized into analytic schemes, on which conceptual experiments may be based; and third, a set of methodological "bets" is then made about the most productive ways to analyze the interactions. Together, these elements allow the pragmatic application of theories that may apply to a myriad of particular cases, such as individuals protesting environmental degradation, governments seeking to control nuclear weapons, or the United Nations attempting to mobilize member states for international peacekeeping. Besides the editors, the six contributors to this book, all distinguished scholars of international relations, are Jeffry A. Frieden, James D. Morrow, Ronald Rogowski, Peter Gourevitch, Miles Kahler, and Arthur A. Stein. Their work is an invaluable introduction for scholars and students of international relations, economists, and government decision-makers.
Strategic Interaction in International Debt Rescheduling
Author: Vinod K. Aggarwal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Business & Economics
Based on a novel theory of bargaining, this study provides a method to deduce actors' payoffs in bargaining situations and develop "debt games," used in predicting negotiating outcomes. It contributes to international political and economic theory, game theory, and debt negotiations research.
Game Theory and Experimental Games: The Study of Strategic Interaction focuses on the development of game theory, taking into consideration empirical research, theoretical formulations, and research procedures involved. The book proceeds with a discussion on the theory of one-person games. The individual decision that a player makes in these kinds of games is noted as influential as to the outcome of these games. This discussion is followed by a presentation of pure coordination games and minimal situation. The ability of players to anticipate the choices of others to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome is emphasized. A favorable social situation is also influential in these kinds of games. The text moves forward by presenting studies on various kinds of competitive games. The research studies presented are coupled with empirical evidence and discussion designed to support the claims that are pointed out. The book also discusses several kinds of approaches in the study of games. Voting as a way to resolve multi-person games is also emphasized, including voting procedures, the preferences of voters, and voting strategies. The book is a valuable source of data for readers and scholars who are interested in the exploration of game theories.
This book provides a state-of-the-art overview on the dynamics and coevolution in multi-level strategic interaction games. As such it summarizes the results of the European CONGAS project, which developed new mathematical models and tools for the analysis, prediction and control of dynamical processes in systems possessing a rich multi-level structure and a web of interwoven interactions among elements with autonomous decision-making capabilities. The framework is built around game theoretical concepts, in particular evolutionary and multi-resolution games, and includes also techniques drawn from graph theory, statistical mechanics, control and optimization theory. Specific attention is devoted to systems that are prone to intermittency and catastrophic events due to the effect of collective dynamics.
This authoritative new book examines the growth of multinational investment in Europe and assesses its implications for the industries and economies of the European Community. Multinational Investment in Modern Europe addresses the theoretical explanations for increased multinational investment and activity, comparing Europe, Japan and America. It then focuses upon the consequences of cross-investment and strategic interaction between multinationals operating within the EC, paying particular attention to the impact on the competitiveness and technological capacity of selected countries and firms. It is suggested that the restructuring of the European networks of multinationals is affecting the geographical division of labour between EC countries. Containing new work by an international group of leading economists, this stimulating and instructive book will be invaluable to all those interested in multinational investment and the future of the European economies after the completion of the single market.
Strategic Interaction, Firm Behavior, and Social Welfare
Author: Jose Muguel Abito
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Business & Economics
A firm's reputation is an asset that can be built or harmed over time and most companies invest in their good standing. This can be challenged or threatened by activists seeking to change the firm's behavior, especially to reduce negative externalities and other social harms that a company may be creating. The strategic interaction takes place in the realm of private politics and corporate social responsibility-perceptions and actions of the company, activists, and the public audience-rather than that of public policy, including regulation. In Corporate Reptutation and Social Activism Jose Miguel Abito, David Besanko, and Daniel Diermeier argue that harm to a firm's reputation is one of the strongest and most practical tools of contemporary corporate activism and explains the numerous campaigns as well as the response of companies. Through a straightforward dynamic model focusing on the interaction of the firm and activists, the authors show how both the firm's existing reputation and various activist tactics influence actions and outcomes of both the firm and the activists. Among their insights are that as a firm's reputation grows, it tends to coast on its reputation by reducing its private regulation, or voluntary adoption of internal rules that constrain certain company behavior. Activists can keep the firm from coasting in two ways: the firm acts more responsibly to protect its reputation in anticipation of activist campaigns, and a firm whose reputation is harmed by a campaign engages more responsibly to repair its reputation. The book explores how activists choose among potential targets and the different tactics activists can use to harm firms' reputations, including criticism, which has a potentially mild impact on the firm's reputation, confrontation, which can cause a reputational crisis in which the firm's reputation can be dramatically impaired, and rewards, which increase a firm's reputation. These can have different effects on firm behavior. The authors also examine whether campaigns by activists advance or harm social welfare. The result is a sweeping overview of an evolving and increasingly important phenomenon that combines rigorous modeling and that generates a rich set of empirical implications that will interest researchers in economics, business and management, sociology, and political science.