Game Theory

Module description

Game theory, the mathematical theory of interactive decision making, has significantly changed how economists think and model economic problems. It has been similarly influential in the political sciences, biology, computer sciences and philosophy. It provides a methodology for analysing the strategic aspects of situations of conflict and cooperation. The module will develop further what students have learned about the subject in intermediate microeconomics. Throughout, a wide range of examples will be used to introduce game theoretic core concepts and ideas, and illustrate their applications to economics and political sciences.  

Additional Information:


The whole content of this module is a neutral methodology which is applicable across disciplines and across geographic or national boundaries.


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).


Strategic and critical thinking and an understanding how incentives work are essential for working and operating professionally in practically any economic activity or institution (in the financial or labor markets) and  any social or political institutions (such as parliaments, local councils, committees, boards of directors etc.) whether in the public or private sector.

Research in Teaching

The module is taught by active researchers in game theory who will bring their experience and expertise to the various topics taught in class.

Full module specification

Module title:Game Theory
Module code:BEE3018
Module level:3
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Todd Kaplan - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE2025 Microeconomics 2



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The module builds on the basic game theory as it is taught in intermediate microeconomics modules and develops it further. It provides a more thorough discussion of basic and more advanced game theoretic concepts

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain how game theory can be used to model and analyse interactive decision situations involving several decision makers;
  • 2. demonstrate comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of some main topics in game theory.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. be aware and able to explain how game theory is a useful tool in many economic sub disciplines;
  • 4. explain how incentives matter and affect behaviour.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. effectively communicate concepts/definitions/arguments;
  • 6. use strategic analysis to understand situations of conflict and cooperation.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Tutorials (5 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study123Reading, research and reflection; preparation for tutorials; preparation for Mid-term test and Examination.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial QuestionsIn class1-6In class feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class Test 1101 hour1-6Verbal feedback and indicative answers
Class Test 2101 hour1-6Verbal feedback and indicative answers
Homework (in groups)10One Computer-based exercise, 2-3 per group.1-6Indicative answers
Examination702 hours1-6Indicative answers

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Class Test 1 (10%), Class Test 2 (10%), Homework (10%), Examination (70%).Examination (100%), 2 hours1-6August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

Strategic Games with Complete Information
(a) Iterated elimination of dominated strategies;
(b) Nash equilibrium;
(c) Maximin

Dynamic Games with Complete Information
(a) Nash equilibrium in sequential games.
(b) Refinements: Subgame perfect equilibrium

Applications of SPE: Drafts.

(a) Gale-Shapley, Deferred Acceptance Algorithm
(b) Top Trading Cycles.

Correlated Equilibrium

Games with Incomplete Information (time permitting)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Recommended textbooks are:

Michael Maschler, Eilon Solan and Shmuel Zamir (2013), Game Theory, Cambridge MA, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13: 978-1107005488

Martin Osborne (2009), An Introduction to Game Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0195322484

A Course in Game Theory, M.J. Osborne, A. Rubinstein, MIT Press, 1994. (free for download at

Ken Binmore (2007), Playing for real, A text on game theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0195300574

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Origin date


Last revision date