Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten
5 October 1930
|Died||23 August 2016 85) (aged|
|Alma mater||Goethe University Frankfurt|
|Known for||Game theory|
|Awards||Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1994)|
|Institutions||University of Bonn|
|Doctoral advisor|| Ewald Burger |
|Doctoral students||Eric van Damme|
|Influenced|| Axel Ockenfels |
Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten (German: [ˈʁaɪ̯nhaʁt ˈzɛltn̩] ( listen ); 5 October 1930 – 23 August 2016) was a German economist, who won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with John Harsanyi and John Nash). He is also well known for his work in bounded rationality and can be considered as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics.
Selten was born in Breslau (Wrocław) in Lower Silesia, now in Poland, to a Jewish father, Adolf Selten (blind bookseller; d. 1942), and Protestant mother, Käthe Luther. Reinhard Selten was raised as Protestant.
After a brief family exile in Saxony and Austria, Selten returned to Hesse, Germany after the war and, in high school, read an article in Fortune magazine about game theory by the business writer John D. McDonald. He recalled later, he would occupy his "mind with problems of elementary geometry and algebra" while walking back and forth to school during that time.He studied mathematics at Goethe University Frankfurt and obtained his diploma in 1957. He then worked as scientific assistant to Heinz Sauermann until 1967. In 1959, he married with Elisabeth Lang Reiner. They had no children. In 1961, he also received his doctorate in Frankfurt in mathematics with a thesis on the evaluation of n-person games.
He was a visiting professor at Berkeley and taught from 1969 to 1972 at the Free University of Berlin and, from 1972 to 1984, at the University of Bielefeld. He then accepted a professorship at the University of Bonn. There he built the BonnEconLab, a laboratory for experimental economic research, where he was active even after his retirement.
Selten was professor emeritus at the University of Bonn, Germany, and held several honorary doctoral degrees. He had been an Esperantist since 1959and met his wife through the Esperanto movement. He was a member and co-founder of the International Academy of Sciences San Marino.
For the 2009 European Parliament election, he was the top candidate for the German wing of Europe – Democracy – Esperanto.
For his work in game theory, Selten won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with John Harsanyi and John Nash). Selten was Germany's first and, at the time of his death, only Nobel winner for economics.
He is also well known for his work in bounded rationality, and can be considered as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics. With Gerd Gigerenzer he edited the book Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox (2001). He developed an example of a game called Selten's Horse because of its extensive form representation. His last work was "Impulse Balance Theory and its Extension by an Additional Criterion".
He is noted for his publishing in non-refereed journals to avoid being forced to make unwanted changes to his work.
Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction among rational decision-makers. It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic, systems science and computer science. Originally, it addressed zero-sum games, in which each participant's gains or losses are exactly balanced by those of the other participants. In the 21st century, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers.
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John Forbes Nash Jr. was an American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. Nash's work has provided insight into the factors that govern chance and decision-making inside complex systems found in everyday life.
John Charles Harsanyi was a Hungarian-American Nobel Prize laureate economist.
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Risk dominance and payoff dominance are two related refinements of the Nash equilibrium (NE) solution concept in game theory, defined by John Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten. A Nash equilibrium is considered payoff dominant if it is Pareto superior to all other Nash equilibria in the game. When faced with a choice among equilibria, all players would agree on the payoff dominant equilibrium since it offers to each player at least as much payoff as the other Nash equilibria. Conversely, a Nash equilibrium is considered risk dominant if it has the largest basin of attraction. This implies that the more uncertainty players have about the actions of the other player(s), the more likely they will choose the strategy corresponding to it.
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Axel Ockenfels is a German economist. He is professor of economics at the University of Cologne. He also is Director of the Cologne Laboratory of Economic Research, Speaker of the "University of Cologne Excellence Center for Social and Economic Behavior ", and Coordinator of the DFG research unit "Design & Behavior".
Jenő Szép was a Hungarian mathematician, professor of University of Economics, Budapest. His main research interests were group theory and game theory. He was founder of the journal Pure Mathematics and Applications (PU.M.A.). In mathematics, especially group theory, the Zappa–Szép product describes a way in which a group can be constructed from two subgroups. It is a generalization of the direct and semidirect products. It is named after Guido Zappa (1940) and Jenő Szép (1950) although it was independently studied by others including B.H. Neumann (1935), G.A. Miller (1935), and J.A. de Séguier (1904). For references, see Matthew G. Brin. About Zappa-Szép. “The Zappa-Szép product was developed independently by Guido Zappa and Szép Jenő as a generalization of the semi-directional product: in the Zappa-Szép product, none of the factors should be normal. We examine the basic features of the product and show that it applies to more general settings than groups. The product is remarkable because it requires almost no hypothesis for the function and adapts to many situations. "
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Benny Moldovanu is a German-Israeli economist who currently holds the Chair of Economic Theory II at the University of Bonn. His research focuses on applied game theory, auction theory, mechanism design, contests and matching theory, and voting theory. In 2004, Moldovanu was awarded the Gossen Prize for his contributions to auction theory and mechanism design.
M equilibrium is a set valued solution concept in game theory that relaxes the rational choice assumptions of perfect maximization and perfect beliefs. The concept can be applied to any normal-form game with finite and discrete strategies. M equilibrium was first introduced by Jacob K. Goeree and Philippos Louis.
Andreas Ortmann is a German-born economist and Professor of Experimental and Behavioural Economics at the UNSW Business School. He is best known for his work on experimental methodology in social sciences, heuristics and coordination games. Vernon L. Smith, in the acknowledgement to his A Life in Experimental Economics, described Ortmann as an "economic theorist, experimentalist, and intellectual historian par excellence in all".
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Robert W. Fogel
Douglass C. North
| Laureate of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics |
Served alongside: John C. Harsanyi, John F. Nash Jr.
Robert E. Lucas Jr.