Special Issue "Game Theory and Political Economy"

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A special issue of Economies (ISSN 2227-7099).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. William D. Ferguson (Website)

Economics Department, Grinnell College, 1210 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112, USA
Phone: +1 641 269 3132
Fax: +1 641 269 4985
Interests: collective action and institutional political economy; particularly with a game-theoretic approach; network theory and labor economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This issue will focus on applied game theory, addressing broadly defined issues of political economy. Topics can range from micro-level interactions within workplaces, firms, political organizations, and community groups; to intermediate-level market, industry, community, or inter-organizational transactions; to macro-level national, regional, population, or global interactions. We welcome models that advance the understanding of social dilemmas and collective-action problems, including studies that address the distribution of power and policy implications. We are particularly interested in models that illustrate how strategic behavior responds to three or more of the following factors: informal institutional context (e.g., social norms); formal institutions (rules and laws); organizational development; exercises of power; available information; motivation as reflected in incentives based on given or developing (perhaps context-sensitive) preference orientations; information processing; social learning; and agent's understandings (cognition). A variety of methodological approaches are welcome; for example, models may operate with given preference orientations, and/or institutional settings or may address associated developmental processes. Likewise, conceptions of strategic agents (individuals or organizations) may utilize material and/or social preferences, based on either substantive rationality (agents have sufficient cognition to estimate best responses) or bounded rationality (cognitive limits and costs to processing information). Accordingly, game-theoretic approaches may be classical, evolutionary, behavioral, or epistemic. Overall, we encourage focus on how strategic behavior affects prospects for fruitful exchange, cooperation, and/or development.

Prof. Dr. William D. Ferguson
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Economies is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • strategic interaction
  • social dilemmas
  • development
  • motivation
  • institutions
  • organizations
  • bargaining
  • collective action
  • evolutionary game theory
  • epistemic game theory
  • behavioral game theory
  • bounded rationality
  • firm behavior
  • social preference

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Forthcoming Issue on Game Theory and Political Economy
Economies 2013, 1(2), 14; doi:10.3390/economies1020014
Received: 15 September 2013 / Accepted: 15 September 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Game theory offers a rigorous set of concepts, relationships, and models that invite myriad applications to problems of political economy. Indeed, game theory can serve as a fundamental modeling technique that can bridge microfoundations of political and economic exchanges, with developmental processes [...] Read more.
Game theory offers a rigorous set of concepts, relationships, and models that invite myriad applications to problems of political economy. Indeed, game theory can serve as a fundamental modeling technique that can bridge microfoundations of political and economic exchanges, with developmental processes and macro implications related to growth and distribution. Applications can range from localized interactions within workplaces, firms, political organizations, and community groups; to intermediate-level market, industry, community, or inter-organizational transactions; to encompassing national, regional, population, or global interactions. At any of these levels, game models can illustrate strategic responses of economic or political actors (individuals or organizations) to specifiable conditions concerning any or all of the following: prevailing social context—notably informal institutions (such as social norms) and formal institutions (such as mutually understood laws and regulations); available information (complete or not; accessible or strategically manipulated); agents’ motivations (material and/or social); and even levels of rationality—substantive (full cognition) or bounded (limited cognition). Applicable models may operate on the basis of given institutional context and preference orientations or may explore associated developmental processes, including adaptive social learning. Of particular interest are representations of one or more of the myriad social dilemmas (or collective-action problems) that inhabit political economy, associated exercises or distributions of power, and/or representations of potential resolutions to such dilemmas—perhaps with policy implications. Accordingly, this forthcoming issue of Economies seeks game-theoretic models based on classical, evolutionary, behavioral, or epistemic game theory that can be applied to one or more problems in political economy. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Does a Least-Preferred Candidate Win a Seat? A Comparison of Three Electoral Systems
Economies 2015, 3(1), 2-36; doi:10.3390/economies3010002
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 19 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
PDF Full-text (395 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the differences between two variations of proportional representation (PR), open-list PR and closed-list PR, are analyzed in terms of their ability to accurately reflect voter preference. The single nontransferable vote (SNTV) is also included in the comparison as a [...] Read more.
In this paper, the differences between two variations of proportional representation (PR), open-list PR and closed-list PR, are analyzed in terms of their ability to accurately reflect voter preference. The single nontransferable vote (SNTV) is also included in the comparison as a benchmark. We construct a model of voting equilibria with a candidate who is least preferred by voters in the sense that replacing the least-preferred candidate in the set of winners with any loser is Pareto improving, and our focus is on whether the least-preferred candidate wins under each electoral system. We demonstrate that the least-preferred candidate never wins under the SNTV, but can win under open-list PR, although this is less likely than winning under closed-list PR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
Open AccessArticle Can Courts Make Federalism Work? A Game Theory Approach to Court-Induced Compliance and Defection in Federal Systems
Economies 2014, 2(4), 193-217; doi:10.3390/economies2040193
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 31 October 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
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Abstract
Few studies on federalism analyze the role of courts as safeguards of the federal arrangement, and those that do tend to be too optimistic about what courts can do. This article analyzes the effect of judicial review on the interaction between the [...] Read more.
Few studies on federalism analyze the role of courts as safeguards of the federal arrangement, and those that do tend to be too optimistic about what courts can do. This article analyzes the effect of judicial review on the interaction between the central and a regional government in a federation in order to understand the conditions under which courts may or may not enforce compliance with federalism. It argues that politicians of either level of government anticipate the likelihood of a judicial challenge and an eventual veto, and it finds distinct equilibria in the interaction between central and regional governments (imposition, auto-limitation, negotiation and litigation). Only under auto-limitation do courts effectively prevent transgressions to the federal arrangement. In all other scenarios, defection may take place despite the presence of courts. These findings show that as the court’s jurisprudence becomes more solid and defined, the chances for governments to successfully exceed their powers increase. Not only do transgressions take place despite the presence of the court, but because of it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
Open AccessArticle Social Context and the Spread of HIV: An Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Investigation on the Impacts of Social Stigma on Epidemic Outcomes
Economies 2014, 2(3), 171-192; doi:10.3390/economies2030171
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
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Abstract
We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our [...] Read more.
We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our evolutionary model specifies how two types of social stigma—that which accompanies an HIV+ condition and that which follows associating with an HIV+ partner—influence behavioral propensities to honestly report one’s condition (or not) and to unconditionally accept relationships (or not). With respect to reporting an HIV+ condition, we find that condition stigma impedes the fitness of honest reporting, whereas association stigma impedes the relative fitness of concealing an HIV+ condition; and both propensities can coexist in a polymorphic equilibrium. By linking our model to the SIR model, we find that condition stigma unambiguously enhances disease transmission by discouraging both honest reporting and a society’s acceptance of AIDS education, whereas association stigma has an ambiguous impact: on one hand it can impede HIV transmission by discouraging concealing behavior and unconditional relationship acceptance, but it also compromises a society’s acceptance of AIDS education. Our relatively simple evolutionary/SIR model offers a foundation for numerous theoretical extensions—such as applications to social network theory—as well as foundation for many testable empirical hypotheses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
Open AccessArticle Union Bargaining in an Oligopoly Market with Cournot-Bertrand Competition: Welfare and Policy Implications
Economies 2014, 2(2), 95-108; doi:10.3390/economies2020095
Received: 6 January 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 25 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigate the welfare effect of union activity in a relatively new oligopoly model, the Cournot-Bertrand model, where one firm competes in output (a la Cournot) and the other firm competes in price (a la Bertrand). The Nash equilibrium prices, [...] Read more.
We investigate the welfare effect of union activity in a relatively new oligopoly model, the Cournot-Bertrand model, where one firm competes in output (a la Cournot) and the other firm competes in price (a la Bertrand). The Nash equilibrium prices, outputs, and profits are quite diverse in this model, with the competitive advantage going to the Cournot-type competitor. A comparison of the results from the Cournot-Bertrand model with those found in the traditional Cournot and Bertrand models reveals that firms and the union have a different preference ordering over labor market bargaining. These differences help explain why the empirical evidence does not support any one model of union bargaining. We also examine the welfare and policy implications of union activity in a Cournot-Bertrand setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
Open AccessArticle Measuring Voting Power in Convex Policy Spaces
Economies 2014, 2(1), 45-77; doi:10.3390/economies2010045
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Classical power index analysis considers the individual’s ability to influence the aggregated group decision by changing its own vote, where all decisions and votes are assumed to be binary. In many practical applications we have more options than either “yes” or “no”. [...] Read more.
Classical power index analysis considers the individual’s ability to influence the aggregated group decision by changing its own vote, where all decisions and votes are assumed to be binary. In many practical applications we have more options than either “yes” or “no”. Here we generalize three important power indices to continuous convex policy spaces. This allows the analysis of a collection of economic problems like, e.g., tax rates or spending that otherwise would not be covered in binary models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
Open AccessArticle A Game-Theoretic History of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Economies 2014, 2(1), 20-44; doi:10.3390/economies2010020
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 4 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2014 / Published: 22 January 2014
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Abstract
This study surveys and evaluates previous attempts to use game theory to explain the strategic dynamic of the Cuban missile crisis, including, but not limited to, explanations developed in the style of Thomas Schelling, Nigel Howard and Steven Brams. All of the [...] Read more.
This study surveys and evaluates previous attempts to use game theory to explain the strategic dynamic of the Cuban missile crisis, including, but not limited to, explanations developed in the style of Thomas Schelling, Nigel Howard and Steven Brams. All of the explanations were judged to be either incomplete or deficient in some way. Schelling’s explanation is both empirically and theoretically inconsistent with the consensus interpretation of the crisis; Howard’s with the contemporary understanding of rational strategic behavior; and Brams’ with the full sweep of the events that define the crisis. The broad outlines of a more general explanation that addresses all of the foundational questions associated with the crisis within the confines of a single, integrated, game-theoretic model with incomplete information are laid out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
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