Methods of PPE III


Course Objective

You acquire
• Knowledge of main approaches in (cooperative and non-cooperative) game
theory and their applications
• The ability to describe and analyse a decision situation
• The ability to assess the relevance of the use of game theory for the
analysis of economic and political decision making.

Course Content

Conflict as well as cooperation are key features of our social world.
Both follow interdependency of human actions. Conflicts arise when one
person’s interests clash with the interests of another person, whereas
cooperation often emerges because individuals can jointly realize goods
or benefits which they cannot realize on their own. Game theory is the
systematic study of such interdependencies and it thus is crucial for
our understanding of human interaction. The course provides a rigorous
training in the tools of game theory and brings out the relevance of
those tools for a wide variety of PPE-topics - ranging from the analysis
of international relations to proposals for tax reform, and from
negotiations between trade unions and employer organizations to the
formation of governments. Game theoretic topics that will be covered
include: extensive form and normal form games; incomplete information;
equilibrium concepts; evolutionary games; cooperative games; and

Teaching Methods

Lectures and math labs

Method of Assessment

Assignments (6 x 10%), essay (2 x 20%)


Osborne, M.J., An Introduction to Game Theory, Oxford: Oxford U.P.

Target Audience

Third year PPE students

Additional Information

Until last year, this course was scheduled in year 2. Students who
followed last year's second year elective Methods of PPE III cannot take
the course in the third year.
Note that participation in the maths labs is mandatory.

Custom Course Registration

There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module and (ii) lecture, but not for the seminar groups.

Recommended background knowledge

PPE Methods I and PPE Methods II

General Information

Course Code W_JSM_221
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J.R. van den Brink
Examiner prof. dr. M.V.B.P.M. van Hees
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M.V.B.P.M. van Hees
prof. dr. J.R. van den Brink

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: