Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Schelling gets the award

The 2005 Economics Nobel Prize is shared by Bob Aumann and Tom Schelling. I am not too good in explaining who they are. In fact I think it would be tough to explain their works to students in undergraduate level, especially Aumann's contrbution. As for Schelling, his works are (or, could be made) less complex, yet are powerful building blocks of evolutionary game theory. So, how would I explain them to my students? I will go:

Both Aumann and Schelling are top notch game theorists. Aumann's papers are tough. By contrast, Schelling has written some non-technical books. Go find them, especially The Strategy of Conflict.

Somehow I know what to answer the next time my wife complains to me why I don't like too many open options offered to me. ("You're strange. I thought economics is an art of choice. Why do you complain when I tell you that to go to Building X you can choose either way 1 or way 2 or way 3 or... so forth. You always want less options"). Now I know the answer. Schelling has taught us! It's the focal point that interests me. Too many similar options can blur my focal point. Yes, it's the... Schelling's Point.

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