Marius Radean is a Lecturer in the Department of Government at University of Essex. His research falls primarily in the areas of Comparative Politics and International Relations. In particular, it focuses on democratic representation and accountability, legislative parties, democratic survival, and quantitative methodology.

Course Content
This course will cover basic through intermediate game theory as well as the relationship between formal theory and empirical research.

Course Objectives
Students should leave the course with a solid foundation in applied game theory. With supervision, they will be able to incorporate game-theoretic models in their own research. They will also become more informed consumers of formal theory and be better positioned to carry out empirical work that speaks to broader theoretical debates in their areas of substantive interest.

Course Prerequisites
A solid foundation in basic mathematics (particularly algebra) will be helpful, as would some familiarity with calculus. However, there are no other prerequisites. A few sessions will be set aside to cover important mathematical foundations, including algebra and calculus.

Recommended texts
Macartan Humphreys. 2017. Political Games.
Will Moore and David Siegel. 2013. A Mathematics Course for Political and Social Research.
Nolan McCarty and Adam Meirowitz. 2007. Political Game Theory.

Monday 1: Models and Rationality
Discuss what a model is and the value of simplification; clarify the differences (and similarities!) between theoretical and empirical models, and the conditions under which it does and does not make sense to combine them; discuss “rational choice” and common critiques; the Allais Paradox (and a conventional, Nash-based model that produces it); contrast Homo Economicus, Homo Sociologicus, Homo Biologicus, and other stylised views; evidence from experiments.

Tuesday 1: Mathematical Foundations I
Review of basic algebra; a primer on formal logic; discussion of notational conventions; calculus primer.

Wednesday 1: Simple Games
Normal-form and extensive form games of complete information with numeric payoffs; mixed strategies; variable payoffs and cutpoint strategies; coordination problems versus collaboration problems with applications to international political economy.

Thursday 1: Repeated Games
Finite games; infinitely repeated games; Iterated PD, international cooperation, and the origins of the state.

Friday 1: Incomplete Information I
Bayesian games in normal form; extensive form games with incomplete information but no updating; applications to human rights and political economy.

Monday 2: Incomplete Information II
Signalling games; applications to political engagement and retrospective voting.

Tuesday 2: Bargaining
Nash bargaining solution; Rubenstein’s model; applications to legislative and crisis bargaining.

Wednesday 2: Applications
Selected by students from Humphreys text (or other sources)

Thursday 2: Applications
Selected by students from Humphreys text (or other sources)

Friday 2: Empirical Evaluation
Pros and cons of viewing models as complete DGP; experiments; statistical backwards induction; QRE.