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Article

Schelling, von Neumann, and the Event that Didn’t Occur

Department of Economics, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
Games 2014, 5(1), 53-89; https://doi.org/10.3390/g5010053
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 10 December 2013 / Accepted: 31 January 2014 / Published: 25 February 2014
Thomas Schelling was recognized by the Nobel Prize committee as a pioneer in the application of game theory and rational choice analysis to problems of politics and international relations. However, although he makes frequent references in his writings to this approach, his main explorations and insights depend upon and require acknowledgment of its limitations. One of his principal concerns was how a country could engage in successful deterrence. If the behavioral assumptions that commonly underpin game theory are taken seriously and applied consistently, however, nuclear adversaries are almost certain to engage in devastating conflict, as John von Neumann forcefully asserted. The history of the last half century falsified von Neumann’s prediction, and the “event that didn’t occur” formed the subject of Schelling’s Nobel lecture. The answer to the question “why?” is the central concern of this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: game theory; deterrence; nuclear strategy; Schelling; von Neumann game theory; deterrence; nuclear strategy; Schelling; von Neumann
MDPI and ACS Style

Field, A.J. Schelling, von Neumann, and the Event that Didn’t Occur. Games 2014, 5, 53-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/g5010053

AMA Style

Field AJ. Schelling, von Neumann, and the Event that Didn’t Occur. Games. 2014; 5(1):53-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/g5010053

Chicago/Turabian Style

Field, Alexander J. 2014. "Schelling, von Neumann, and the Event that Didn’t Occur" Games 5, no. 1: 53-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/g5010053

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