- Class Number 4506
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Martin Richardson
- Dr Martin Richardson
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
In many - perhaps most – economic, political, legal and social interactions, there is potential for strategic behaviour, a term, “intended to focus on the interdependence of the adversaries' decisions and on their expectations about each other's behaviour.” (Schelling, 1960, The Strategy of Conflict). Recognising and understanding such behaviour is an essential part of any analyst’s toolkit and this course is designed to enable just such recognition and understanding. Game theory has successfully been applied in a diverse range of fields, such as economics, political science, military analysis, law, biology and computer science.
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to strategic thinking and analysis through the basic techniques of game theory and to illustrate the range of its applications in almost all fields of social interaction. While the level of the course will be introductory, and mathematical prerequisites are minimal, the presentation of the material will rely on precise logical arguments. This course should be of interest to students from any part of the University.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of how game theorists approach a strategic problem.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the tools taught in class and be able to recognise their application to the analysis of real world situations.
- Recognise the strategic issues in a problem and demonstrate an understanding of how a game theorist might decide on the appropriate tools to analyse it.
The lecturer is a user of game theory in his own research, albeit as a tool of analysis rather than the subject of the analysis itself. Consequently, students will be exposed to the practical use of game theory and strategic thinking in current economics research – explicitly in one of the applications covered in s.9 of the course, time permitting.
Examination Material or equipment
The final exam will be run as a timed open-book assignment on Wattle and students can use any offline materials.
Watson, J. (2013), Strategy: an introduction to game theory 3e. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-91838-0.
Osborne, M. (2009), An introduction to game theory Intn’l Ed. Oxford UP. ISBN 978-0-19-532248-4.
Dixit, A., S. Skeath & D. Reiley (2015), Games of strategy. 4e. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-91968.
Texts will be available in the library on short term reserve; Osborne is not available as an e-book but requests have been lodged with the ANU Library to acquire e-book versions of the other two books - more information will be made available through Wattle as it becomes known. Any older editions of these books will do. Students will be supplied with a set of selected readings and copies of (most of) the lecture slides as we proceed.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
We will provide a verbal review of each tutorial exercise and review of the quizzes (in tutorial time) and thus feedback to the class as a whole. All online and in-class questions will be discussed directly in class.
The Wattle site contains a forum for ongoing (anonymised) discussion and feedback and there will also be a small, optional survey mid-way through the course.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
All students attend a one hour tutorial starting in the second week. Enrolment in tutorials will be completed online through Wattle. There will be face-to-face tutorials for on-campus students and online options for off-campus students.
The first tutorial will take place during the second week of class. Tutorial exercises are designed to apply and reinforce the principles taught in lectures. Foundation tutorial questions for the second week will be available on Wattle in Week One (but not the other questions – you must attend the tutorial, either virtually or in person, to get those.) I emphasise that you must attempt the foundation tutorial problems before attending the tutorial in order to make sense of the regular problems that will be discussed in the tutorial. N.B. Almost none of the tutorial materials will be made available online. The final exam questions will include tutorial style problems. You will only learn problem-solving skills (necessary to pass the final exam) through practice, NOT by simply writing down answers from tutorials. You learn by doing and practicing
Students taking this course are expected to commit at least 10 hours a week – on average – to completing the work, comprising:
· 2 hours a week of lectures
· 1 hour a week of tutorial
· 7+ hours a week: reading, writing and tutorial preparation Some weeks will demand less time than this; some more.
Your final mark for the course will be based on the raw marks allocated for each assignment or examination. However, your final mark may not be the same number as produced by that formula, as marks may be scaled. Any scaling applied will preserve the rank order of raw marks (i.e. if your raw mark exceeds that of another student, then your scaled mark will exceed the scaled mark of that student), and may be either up or down.
Technology, Software, Equipment
I plan to use Wattle extensively and as my main means of getting material to you: https://wattlecourses.anu.edu.au/. Please ensure that you have access and that you check it regularly.
Prior to a number of lectures you will be asked to participate in some “on-line experiments” which will help you to focus on games and decision problems which we will discuss later in class. Taking part in this is optional, but recommended. Once you complete a set, it will be recorded. I will have access to the information about which sets you have completed. There are no “right” and “wrong” answers to the posted problems and each set will take only a few minutes to complete. Please respond to the problems as naturally as possible. I will have the aggregated statistics of the class’ responses and we will use these in class discussion. To get the 5% assessment allocated for this component of the course you must do all of the assigned question sets from week two onwards (4 weeks all up.) You will get somewhere between 0% and 5% in this element, depending on what share of the total number of assigned question sets you answer.
· Please log in here. (You’ll need cookies enabled on your browser to log in.)
· Our Course Number is 38246.
· The initial class password is 3497 but you will have to select a new password after login.
Please remember the login name and the personal password you select. (You will be able to retrieve the password if you lost it). After registration, you will be automatically directed to the first problem set, an exercise set that I have posted for you to practice but which does not count for assessment purposes. Please respond to all problems. Only after you have completed the set will you receive confirmation (with a red tick) and the fact that you have done it will be recorded. In case you are interrupted before you finish the set you will be able to log in again and resume the set from the point at which you stopped.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Lectures. Admin details; maths expected; methodology; rationality. It will also be explained that these summaries are tentative and aspirational only and actual coverage will depend on class progress, which varies from year to year.||None|
|2||Lectures. Evolution of cooperation; examples of game forms; classifying games; simultaneous move games; "solving" games. Tutorials.||Optional online exercises. 'Weekly' quiz #1/8.|
|3||Lectures. "Solving" games; zero sum games & minimax; Nash equilibrium (NE) explained and explored; rationality and rationalisability. Tutorials.||Optional online exercises. 'Weekly' quiz #2/8.|
|4||Lectures. Multiple NE; non-existence of pure strategy NE (PSNE); mixed strategies; Nash's theorem; risk; best responses (BR). Tutorials.||'Weekly' quiz #3/8.|
|5||Lectures. Interpreting mixed strategies; illustrations of NE. Tutorials.||'Midterm' quiz #1. Optional online exercises.|
|6||Lectures. Illustrations of NE (cont.); games with sequential moves - definitions, NE, backward induction (BI), subgame perfect NE (SPNE). Tutorials.||'Weekly' quiz #4/8.|
|7||Lectures. Sequential games - examples, allowing simultaneous moves, finding SPNE. Tutorials.||'Weekly' quiz #5/8.|
|8||Lectures. Finding SPNE (cont.); SPNE, BI & rationality; brinkmanship; exogenous uncertainty; imperfect information; bargaining games. Tutorials.||Optional online exercises. 'Weekly' quiz #6/8.|
|9||Lectures. Bayesian games - defined, NE, signalling, Bayesian updating. Tutorials.||'Midterm' quiz #2.|
|10||Lectures. Extensive games with imperfect information; information sets revisited; examples; strategies; NE, beliefs & weak sequential equilibrium (WSE). Tutorials.||Optional online exercises. 'Weekly' quiz #7/8.|
|11||Lectures. Repeated games; automata; punishment strategies; Nash "folk theorem". Tutorials.||'Weekly' quiz #8/8.|
|12||Lectures. Repeated games - Axelrod's tournaments; Examples of strategic behaviour - pricing strategies, strategic commitment and limit pricing, auctions. Tutorials.||None|
All students attend a one hour tutorial weekly, starting in the second week. Enrolment in tutorials will be completed online through Wattle. Face-to-face (on-campus) and online tutorials will be available.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|'Midterm' Quiz #1||15 %||26/03/2021||31/03/2021||1,2|
|'Midterm' Quiz #2||15 %||07/05/2021||14/05/2021||1,2|
|Optional online questions||5 %||*||*||1,2,3|
|Eight 'weekly' online (Wattle-mediated) quizzes||40 %||*||*||1,2,3|
|Final Exam||25 %||*||*||1,2,3|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
The assessment of the optional, redeemable online questions is based on engagement only - there are no right or wrong answers. Due to travel restrictions, this course will be largely delivered through online platforms.?Aspects of the delivery will be asynchronous. However, there will be synchronous activities also taking place (both online and on-campus). Details of the delivery of this course and expectations of student participation will be outlined in further detail on the Wattle course site in O-week. Attendance at synchronous activities, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b). In addition, tutorials are a discussion-based class. Providing worked solutions would not effectively compensate for missing a tutorial. Students who, through unavoidable and unplanned occurrences, are unable to attend a tutorial class one week are encouraged to work through the problems and attend a consultation session for discussion and solutions.
There is a final exam for the course (see Assessment Task 4). This assessment task is a hurdle assessment in line with the student assessment coursework policy (see https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004603). You must achieve at least 40% in the final exam in order to pass the course.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
'Midterm' Quiz #1
Quiz - 15%, NOT redeemable against final, held in Week 5 (March 22-26). The quiz will be 50 minutes long, run online through Wattle and covering material from weeks 1-5 inclusive, and will be discussed in a subsequent tutorial. If you miss the quiz for a legitimate reason, documentation will need to be provided to ECON2141@anu.edu.au and, if your reason is accepted, a make-up quiz will be provided. Further details will be provided in lectures.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
'Midterm' Quiz #2
Quiz - 15%, NOT redeemable against final, held in Week 9 (May 3-7). The quiz will be 50 minutes long, run online through Wattle and covering material from weeks 1-9 inclusive, and will be discussed in a subsequent tutorial. If you miss the quiz for a legitimate reason, documentation will need to be provided to ECON2141@anu.edu.au and, if your reason is accepted, a make-up quiz will be provided. Further details will be provided in lectures.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Optional online questions
Online questions will be made available at 9am on Monday in weeks 2, 5, 8 and 10. Each is worth 1.25% for completion for a total of up to 5%, which is redeemable against the final. Each will be reviewed in class the following week.
Extensions Policy: The online questions must all be answered by 5:00 pm Friday on the week in which they are assigned. No extensions can be given due to the nature of the exercises.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Eight 'weekly' online (Wattle-mediated) quizzes
Eight (8) times during the semester there will be a short online quiz run through Wattle and covering the preceding week's lectures and/or tutorials. Each will be worth 5 points and will count for 5% of your course grade. The quizzes will be made available for half an hour at a pre-specified time (to be determined in consultation with students in week one) and you will be able to attempt them once only, abiding by the instructions provided in the quizzes themselves. If you miss a quiz for a legitimate reason, documentation will need to be provided to ECON2141@anu.edu.au and, if your reason is accepted, your remaining quizzes will be re-weighted. Quiz answers will be provided and discussed in tutorials in the following week.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
25-30%, depending on the student's performance in assessment task 3. It will be a two-hour exam held during the ANU Exam Block in June, run online through Wattle as a timed assignment, covering the entire course and consisting of some combination of short- and longer-answer questions, both discursive and/or analytical. The final exam is a hurdle assessment in line with the student assessment coursework policy (see https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004603). You must achieve at least 40% in the final exam in order to pass the course.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.
The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
It is intended that each quiz will be returned in tutorials in the week following it being sat.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Intn’l Econ, Applied Microeconomics
Dr Martin Richardson