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Learning Objectives

Identify the structural elements of basic strategic interactions, and represent a strategic interaction as a game. Provide to the student the main concepts of equilibrium needed to
solve static and dynamic games, identifying equilibrium strategies and the solutions to the game.

The course provides the fundamental tools to analyze the most common strategic interactions in economic theory.
Students are presented with a logical-mathematical analysis of the topics of the course and invited to adopt this method to formalize their ideas. The formal structure of strategic
interactions is covered from the very beginning of the coure, together with the main results in terms of equilibrium and structural hypotheses to obtain them. At the end of the course, students will have a clear comprehension of the basics of Game Theory for non-cooperative games.

Students will be nudged to identify the basic elements of the strategic interactions covered in the course and to represent them as a game. On the basis of the key concepts of
equilibrium in static and dynamic non-cooperative games, students will be able to identify equilibrium strategies and their outcomes.


Basic knowledge of microeconomics and elementary algebra is required.


GAME THEORY: Rational Approach.
Choices in contexts of strategic interaction.
Dominant and dominated strategy.
Pure and mixed strategy,
Nash equilibrium.
Coordination and non-coordination games
Prisoner's Dilemma
Sequential games,
Entry Game
Credible and non-credible threats,
Subgame perfect Nash Equilibrium
Equilibrium of Cournot, Bertrand, Stackelberg,
Repeated games.
Second part - Behavioral Approach (3 Credits).
Experimental games to verify how individuals choose with respect to what is predicted by
the theory.
Experimental Literature and evidences from laboratory.
Dictator Game,
Ultimatum game,
Trust game,
Public good game.
Social preferences (conditional or unconditional, distribution, psychological and moral)
Distinguish between the motivations underlying the choice (design and experiments)
The role of communication
Psychological and moral costs.
The role of social identity
Students will play experimental games in the behavioral economics laboratories in the
presence or virtual or mixed.


An introduction to Game Theory
by Martin Osborne
Oxford University Press


Forsythe, Robert; Horowitz, Joel L.; Savin, N.E.; Sefton, Martin (1994). "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments", Games and Economic Behavior, 6: 347– 369.
Güth, W.; Schmittberger, R. & B. Schwarze (1982). "An Experimental Analysis of Ultimatum Bargaining". Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 3: 367-388.
Berg J., Dickhaut J. and McCabe K. (1995) Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History*, Games and Economic Behavior, 10,122-142.
Cox (2004), How to identify trust and reciprocity, Games and Economic Behavior, 46: 260-281.
Di Bartolomeo G. e S. Papa (2016): “ Trust and reciprocity: Extensions and robustness of triadic design,” Experimental Economics, Springer: 19 (1): 100-115.
Charness, G. and Dufwenberg M. (2006), "Promises and Partnership" Econometrica 74: 1579-1601.
Vanberg, C. (2008), “ Why do people keep their promises? An experimental test of two explanations,” Econometrica, 76: 1467-1480.
Di Bartolomeo, G. Duwfenberg, M. Papa, S. Passarelli F. (2019), "Promises, Expectations & Causation", Games and Economic Behavior, 114: 137-146.
Chen, Y. and S. X. Li (2009), “ Group identity and social preferences,” American Economic Review, 99: 431-457.
Ciccarone, G. Di Bartolomeo, G. Papa S. (2020), "The rationale of in-group favoritism: An experimental test of three explanations", Games and Economic Behavior 124: 554-568.

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, and laboratory experiments

Exam Rules

The exam consists of a written exam (plus a mandatory experimental laboratory), necessary to verify the level of knowledge of the topics indicated in the program and treated during the lessons by Prof. Papa.
The task consisting of different questions and exercises. It focuses on everything done in class.
The assessment will be based on the following criteria: Knowledge of the topics, ability to apply rational or behavioral theory to specific problems, language properties and analytical skills.
Possible outcomes, as the average of the two written exams of the two parties: Best result: 30 cum laude; excellent result from 30 to 28; good result from 27 to 26; fair result from 25 to 23; from 22 to 20 satisfactory outcome; from 19 and 18 sufficient outcome.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, to pass the exam beyond the written exam, it isnecessary to carry out a mandatory experimental laboratory (incentivized with rewards forstudents).