Reinhard Selten

Last updated
Reinhard Selten
Reinhard Selten2.jpg
Selten in 2001
Born
Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten

(1930-10-05)5 October 1930
Died23 August 2016(2016-08-23) (aged 85)
Poznań, Poland
NationalityGerman
Alma mater Goethe University Frankfurt
Known for Game theory
Awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1994)
Scientific career
Fields Economics
Institutions University of Bonn
Doctoral advisor Ewald Burger
Wolfgang Franz
Doctoral students Eric van Damme
Influenced Axel Ockenfels
Benny Moldovanu
Abdolkarim Sadrieh [1]

Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten (German: [ˈʁaɪ̯nhaʁt ˈzɛltn̩] ( Loudspeaker.svg 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.

Contents

Biography

Selten was born in Breslau (Wrocław) in Lower Silesia, now in Poland, to a Jewish father, Adolf Selten (blind bookseller; d. 1942 [1] [2] ), and Protestant mother, Käthe Luther. [2] [3] Reinhard Selten was raised as Protestant. [3]

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. [1] [2] 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 1959 [3] and met his wife through the Esperanto movement. [4] 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. [5]

Work

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. [1]

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. [6]

Bibliography

See also

Related Research Articles

Game theory The study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers

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.

Bounded rationality is the idea that rationality is limited when individuals make decisions. In other words, humans "...preferences are determined by changes in outcomes relative to a certain reference level..." as stated by Esther-Mirjam Sent (2018) Limitations include the difficulty of the problem requiring a decision, the cognitive capability of the mind, and the time available to make the decision. Decision-makers, in this view, act as satisficers, seeking a satisfactory solution, rather than an optimal solution. Therefore, humans do not undertake a full cost-benefit analysis to determine the optimal decision, but rather, choose an option that fulfils their adequacy criteria.

John Forbes Nash Jr. American mathematician

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 Harsanyi

John Charles Harsanyi was a Hungarian-American Nobel Prize laureate economist.

Gerd Gigerenzer German cognitive psychologist

Gerd Gigerenzer is a German psychologist who has studied the use of bounded rationality and heuristics in decision making. Gigerenzer is director emeritus of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, both in Berlin, Germany.

Solution concept

In game theory, a solution concept is a formal rule for predicting how a game will be played. These predictions are called "solutions", and describe which strategies will be adopted by players and, therefore, the result of the game. The most commonly used solution concepts are equilibrium concepts, most famously Nash equilibrium.

Ariel Rubinstein Israeli economist (born 1951)

Ariel Rubinstein is an Israeli economist who works in economic theory, game theory and bounded rationality.

Kenneth Binmore English mathematician and game theorist

Kenneth George "Ken" Binmore, is an English mathematician, economist, and game theorist. He is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at University College London (UCL) and a Visiting Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol.

Jonathan Pool

Jonathan Pool, born 1942 in Chicago, is a political scientist from the United States. He works on the political and economic consequences of linguistic circumstances and language policy.

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.

Equilibrium selection is a concept from game theory which seeks to address reasons for players of a game to select a certain equilibrium over another. The concept is especially relevant in evolutionary game theory, where the different methods of equilibrium selection respond to different ideas of what equilibria will be stable and persistent for one player to play even in the face of deviations of the other players. This is important because there are various equilibrium concepts, and for many particular concepts, such as the Nash equilibrium, many games have multiple equilibria.

Bonn Graduate School of Economics

The Bonn Graduate School of Economics, commonly referred to as BGSE, is the graduate school of the Department of Economics within the Faculty of Law and Economics of the University of Bonn. The BGSE is one of the leading research institutions in the field of economics in Germany. The school offers a master program in economics and a doctoral program with an integrated master degree .Students who want to pursue a doctoral degree can specialize in economic research within the master program and then continue with the dissertation phase. The BGSE is a founding member of the European Doctoral Program in Quantitative Economics. Students benefit from the collaborative research activities of the BGSE with the Institute on Behavior and Inequality, Institute for the Study of Labor, the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, the Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics

Axel Ockenfels German economist

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

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. "

Eric van Damme Dutch economist

Eric Eleterius Coralie van Damme is a Dutch economist and Professor of Economics at the Tilburg University, known for his contributions to game theory.

The Nancy L. Schwartz Memorial Lecture is a series of public lectures held every year by the Kellogg Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences.

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".

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, Sam, "Reinhard Selten, Whose Strides in Game Theory Led to a Nobel, Dies at 85", New York Times, September 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  2. 1 2 3 O'Connor, J J, and E F Robertson, "Reinhard Selten", www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk, November 2010. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  3. 1 2 3 From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1994, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1995
  4. Lins, Ulrich & Ertl, István. "Intervjuo kun Reinhard Selten, Nobelpreemiito" Esperanto (n° 1065-12, December 1994, p. 203
  5. Eŭropo – Demokratio – Esperanto: Germanio
  6. Frey, Bruno S., "Publishing as prostitution? – Choosing between one's own ideas and academic success" Archived 2016-03-16 at the Wayback Machine , bsfrey.ch p. 215 (11).
Awards
Preceded by
Robert W. Fogel
Douglass C. North
Laureate of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
1994
Served alongside: John C. Harsanyi, John F. Nash Jr.
Succeeded by
Robert E. Lucas Jr.