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University of Exeter Business School

Game Theory

Module titleGame Theory
Module codeBEE2044
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Todd Kaplan (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


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



Strategic and critical and thinking and an understanding how incentives work are essential are essential for working operating professionally in practically any economic activity or institution (in the financial or labour 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.


The assessment structure on this module is subject to review and may change before the start of the new academic year. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you before the start of term and if you wish to change module as a result of this you can do so in the module change window.

Module aims - intentions of the module

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

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. explain clearly 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 the main topics in game theory.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

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

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

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 & Teaching Activities22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities5Tutorials (10 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
Home Mid-Term10Ten questions to be answered on own time1-6Verbal feedback and indicative answers
Homework (in groups)20One computer-based exercise and one essay 1000-2000 words, 3-4 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
Home Mid-term (10%)Questions on midterm material (10%)1-6August/September Reassessment period
Homework (in groups) (20%)Homework (individual) (20%)1-6August/September Reassessment period
Examination (70%)Examination (70%) 2 hours1-6August/September Reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Recommended textbooks are:


Michael Maschler, Eilon Solan and Shmuel Zamir (2020), Game Theory (2nd ed.) Cambridge MA, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-13: 978-1108825146

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

Martin Osborne, Ariel Rubinstein (1994), A Course in Game Theory, MIT Press. ISBN-13: 978-0262650403 (free for download at


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

Key words search

Game Theory, Microeconomics, Strategic thinking, Interpersonal decision making

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BEE1036 and BEE1037

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date