Game Theory and the Law

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Course Description: 

The course will present the basic models of game theory and their legal applications, with special emphasis on interactive learning through participating in games (both online and in-class) and discussion of the dynamics of decision-making present within each game. Towards this purpose, students will be asked to register to a course-specific website through which "problem sets" will be posted – games requiring students to input their choices and providing class statistics and results to be discussed in the following lesson. Participation in games should facilitate learning – both in pushing students to tackle strategic questions within each game, and in requiring thought as to legal situations in which similar dynamics arise.  Course material will focus on non-cooperative game theory (where each actor is presumed to be a self-utility-maximizing individual or firm), though some models of cooperative game theory will be presented as well (formation of coalitions among members). Application to legal issues will be discussed, both based on scholarly writings and on students' input as to real-life situations where similar strategic interactions arise (relying both on case law and non-legal everyday experience). No prior knowledge of game theory or economics is presumed, and all technical know-how necessary for understanding, presenting, and solving game structures will be included in the course itself. The focus of this course is onunderstanding and being able to apply game theory's insights to everyday and legal decision-making, rather than theoretical knowledge alone.

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