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ECON351 Special Topic: Game Theory

Do you get a good deal when you purchase a TV from a store that gives a "lowest price guarantee" or when you reserve a hotel room through an online travel agency that promises to refund you the difference when your hotel is booked for a lower price later? If you want to understand the forces at play in these situations, then you need to understand strategic interaction.

No firm, government or person operates in a vacuum. The action that someone takes may not only have consequences for herself, but also for others, and vice versa. On the one hand we need to form beliefs about actions taken by others in order to know what action to choose oneself. On the other hand, we may influence decisions taken by others via our own decisions. That is, we engage in strategic thinking.

This paper provides an introduction to strategic thinking, and when you take it, you will learn to recognise and analyse strategic situations.

Paper title Special Topic: Game Theory
Paper code ECON351
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $846.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.10

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Prerequisite
ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Contact
economics@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Ronald Peeters
Textbooks
Harrington J.E. (2014). Games, Strategies, and Decision Making (2nd ed.). Worth Publishers, New York. (ISBN 978-1429239967).
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Scholarship, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete ECON 351 should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of game theoretic methods of analysing behaviour in strategic situations
  • Apply that understanding to predict behaviour and evaluate business and policy options
  • Reflect on game theoretical methods from a multi-disciplinary perspective
  • Appreciate the impact that game theory has made, and continues to make, in a variety of contexts

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Thursday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
T2 Friday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41

The economics of household decision-making about marriage, divorce, fertility and labour market participation, the limitations of GDP as a measure of wellbeing, and measures of human, social and natural capital.

NZ has experienced a rapid change in family structures over the last decade towards greater diversity in families, including single parenthood, parents who do not live with their children but are still involved, etc. Economic reasoning can help explain the dramatic changes that have occurred, both in New Zealand and around the world by analysing household decisions related to marriage and cohabitation, divorce, labour market participation of women, and childbearing.

These decisions have an important impact on income and the overall wellbeing of the society, which will be the subject of the latter part of the course. New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget in 2019 has been internationally recognised as part of the growing global awareness of the different dimensions of wellbeing and the need to develop meaningful measures other than Gross Domestic Product. The Wellbeing Budget draws on the Government’s Living Standards Framework, which focuses on people’s capabilities to live the life they value and have reasons to value, based on Sen’s ‘capabilities approach’. Overall, the Economics of Households and Wellbeing will provide graduates with the skills to comprehend and critically assess how households make economic choices and the changes in societal structures and wellbeing, which allows for informed discourse and policy making.

Paper title Special Topic: Economics of Households and Wellbeing
Paper code ECON351
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2020 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Contact

economics@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Dr Neha Agarwal
Dr Viktoria Kahui

Textbooks

Required: Saul D. Hoffman and Susan Averett (2015) Women and the Economy: Family, Work and Pay, 3rd edition, Macmillan International Higher Education (ISBN 9781137477033).

Other key readings include: NZ Treasury reports (accessible online) and chapters from a selection of other books (available via e-Reserve).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will have developed a range of subject-specific knowledge and skills. They will be able to:

  • Discuss the economic theory of marriage, the reasons and consequences of divorce, the relationship between marriage and the relative earnings of men and women.
  • Discuss the economic explanations for the recent trends in fertility.
  • Describe and explain the recent trend in women’s labour market participation.
  • Explain the gender gap in earnings in a variety of settings.
  • Discuss the strength and weaknesses of GDP as a measure of wellbeing.
  • Discuss Sen's capabilities approach.
  • Describe and analyse the Solow growth model.
  • Describe the components of human, social and natural capital.

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None