731335 Game theory in environmental and natural resource management

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Wintersemester 2019/20
Languages of instruction


This course offers an introduction to Game Theory with examples in Environmental and Natural Resource Management. Game Theory is the mathematical study of strategic interaction among independent self-interested agents.
Game theoretic concepts are applied in disciplines as diverse as economics (e.g., competing firms), political science (e.g., political candidates competing for votes), and biology (e.g., animals fighting over prey) – among others. In environmental and natural resource management, Game Theory is a helpful tool to analyze e.g., international environmental problems, situations when international environmental treaties are decided, or competition over exhaustible natural resources. Prominent games which are utilized to gain insights into international environmental problems are e.g., the Prisoners’ dilemma, or the so-called Chicken Game.
Students attending this course will be introduced to formal game theoretic concepts and its practical applications. The lecture will roughly follow this outline:
1. Introduction:
- What is game theory about?
- Basic concepts: Theory of rational choice; representation of games: normal form representation, extensive form representation; Information sets; Strategies (pure and mixed strategies)
2. Static games of complete information:
- Dominance: dominant strategies, dominated strategies, iterated deletion of dominated strategies
- Nash equilibrium (NE): definition of a NE, best-response correspondence, Examples
- Mixed Strategy Nash equilibrium: definition, mixed best-response correspondence and mixed NE
3. Dynamic games of complete information:
- Definition of subgame perfect NE, finding subgame perfect NE in games of complete and perfect information by backwards induction.

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to
- Identify strategic situations and represent them as games
- Solve simple games using various techniques
- Analyze economic situations using game theoretic techniques
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.