Warwick/Coventry, United Kingdom

Game Theory and Competitive Strategy

when 16 July 2023 - 5 August 2023
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee GBP 2150

Conflict exists not just in most economic scenarios but in almost every human interaction, be it economic, political or social and this course will adopt that broad perspective in developing analyses, results and insights.
This course is designed for students with a background in microeconomic theory and will be taught at the intermediate level. The topic of this course, Game Theory, is an essential tool for analyzing strategic interactions between economic agents. It can help us explain anything from why farmers overgraze a common piece of land to the price at which a buyer and seller agree to trade. This course equips students with the skills to use game theory to model real world scenarios and apply game theoretic methods to solve these models.

As will be seen, in many games like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, game theory predicts suboptimal outcomes, since each agent acts in their self-interest, which may not be the common interest. One way to escape this is to allow agents to write binding contracts with each other, which enables us to shift the focus from strategies to payoffs. We take a brief venture into cooperative game theory to see how agents will split the gains from forming coalitions.

One common application of game theory is to bargaining. This pertains to any situation whereby two or more agents have an incentive to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, but conflicting interests over the terms of such an agreement. Students will see some of the myriad of situations bargaining theory can be applied to and learn what predictions bargaining theory can help us make about how these situations will be resolved.

Course leader

Dr James Massey, Teaching Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Warwick

Target group

This course is open to students who are studying or have previously studied Economics or Mathematics at University level. You should attach your most recent transcript or provide a screenshot of your modules from your student portal as evidence when you apply. Students should also meet our standard entry requirements and must be aged 18 or over by the time the Summer School commences and have a good understanding of the English language.

Course aim

As students will discover, game theory is an essential tool for understanding of a wide range real world phenomena. Among others, this course aims to answer three vital questions:

- What is game theory about?
- How do I apply game theory?
- Why is game theory right?

Students should develop an appreciation for how the details of a game such as when players move and why they know can have a large impact on outcomes.

This course aims to equip students with a wide range of game theoretic skills, which will be used in formulating and solving models of their own. By exposing students to a wide variety of topics and applications, this course gives students some idea of the vast range of phenomena one can use game theory to model and explain. This course will also improve powers of logic and encourage students to think strategically in their future everyday life.

Credits info

7.5 EC
You must check with the relevant office of your institution if you will be awarded credit, but many institutions will allow this. In general, you’ll earn 3-4 credits in the US system, and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. Warwick will provide any necessary supporting evidence to help evaluate the worth of the course.

Fee info

GBP 2150: Student Rate - Tuition fee applies to any student enrolled at a University or College anywhere in the world (includes the social programme and guest lecture series)
GBP 2950: Standard rate - Tuition fee includes the social programme and guest lecture series.


We offer enhanced discounts for Warwick alumni, Offer Holders, Summer School Alumni and Students at partners institutions and group bookings of 10+ students