Game theory books allow us to understand the logic behind each participant’s thinking, and analyze how those decisions ultimately affect outcomes. Game theory was conceptualized by John von Neumann, and later researched by John Nash. It remains to this day one of the most significant breakthroughs in understanding how we interact and behave in different situations. It is based on the fact that each of our decisions, and intentions in a social setting have an impact on the results achieved. Although it has been widely used in economics it also spans several other fields.
Published in 1944, Theory of Games and Economic Behavior is a classic when it comes to game theory literature. John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern wrote this revolutionary game theory book. Where for the first time the theory was laid out. The basis for the book was John von Neumann’s paper On the Theory of Games of Strategy. As the first game theory book to ever be published, Theory of Games and Economic Behavior marks the beginning of what was to come in the field of game theory.
The Joy of Game Theory is an introductory game theory book that tries to explain the concept of strategic thinking, and how it can be applied to different situations. Some game theory books are overly focused on mathematical concepts and how to apply them. Thus, it is difficult for those that are not so familiar with math to be able to understand and apply game theory concepts. This book delivers a concise and introductory approach to game theory. In a way that every reader is able to understand.
Introducing Game Theory is another introductory game theory book that tries to explain the concept in an easy and simple way. It is filled with illustrations. For readers that find it hard to grasp the concept of game theory, it is a must-read. Moreover, you will not find any complex math or anything of the sort. Instead, the authors use illustrations to explain every concept along the way.
Game Theory for Applied Economists is another important game theory book dedicated to economists. The book is widely adopted as a must-read to complete several university courses on game theory. It is not overly filled with math. Therefore, it is a basic framework to understand how game theory can be applied to economics.
This list would not be finished without including A Beautiful Mind. The biography of John Nash was later transported onto the big screen. With Russel Crowe playing one of the most remarkable roles of his life. It is a great book even if you are not interested in game theory books. John Nash’s life is an inspiring tale. A story of how it is possible to overcome even the most daunting challenges that life presents us. An inspirational biography that details the life of a genius.
Image source: Gotham