OUR GAME THEORY PODCAST

In Game Changer, the podcast by TWS Partners, we want to share our enthusiasm and passion for game theory and its applications. Guests from industry and academia discuss the power of game theory in their profession and how they use it to make a difference. Along the way we strive to offer fun anecdotes, useful facts and valuable insights. Hear us out and find out that game theory is much more than a topic for ivory tower discussions.

 

ARE YOU AMONG THE TOP PERFORMING MANAGERS? – OVERCONFIDENCE AND ITS CAUSES | WITH COLLIN RAYMOND
July 16, 2024
July 16, 2024

In this episode, we discuss overconfidence and its underlying psychological mechanisms. Our guest Collin Raymond shares his research (joint work with David Huffman and Julia Shvets) based on a field study he conducted with managers in the context of their Bonus payment. We discuss their findings on how managers make overconfident predictions about their individual future performance. In the study they can link the overconfidence to managers having an overly-positive memory of past performance. We finish the discussion by deep-diving into other facets of overconfidence.

 

Collin Raymond is Associate Professor of Strategy and Business Economics at the Johnson School of Management of Cornell University. His research interests span Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics, and Microeconomic Theory. He focuses on how individuals make decisions under uncertainty and the cognitive biases that influence these decisions.

You can find the paper Collin describes in the interview here.

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AVOIDING VALUE DRAIN IN DEALMAKING – GAME THEORETIC STRATEGIES | WITH PAUL PAPAYOANOU
July 02, 2024
July 02, 2024

In this episode, we delve into the common pitfalls that negotiators face which lead to value drain in dealmaking. Our guest Paul Papayoanou identifies four types of value-destructive behaviours and shares insights on avoiding these traps. He also outlines the characteristics of an effective dealmaker, emphasising the importance of being a savvy strategist who can balance toughness with fairness. Furthermore, we explore the role of preparation and reputation in successful negotiations, and how game theory can be applied to enhance negotiation strategies.

Paul Papayoanou is a Senior Advisor with Decision Frameworks, a boutique consultancy based in Houston, Texas, serving clients worldwide. He has taught at the University of California San Diego and Harvard University, and is the author of “Game Theory for Business: A Primer in Strategic Gaming.” Paul’s extensive experience in game theory and dealmaking provides invaluable insights for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills. You can read his recent article on addressing value drain in dealmaking here (or e-mail Paul for the pdf version: paul@decisionframeworks.com).

Paul has already been a guest on our show. You can check out his episode on how to bid in an auction here or here.

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PLAYING THE GENE GAME: ON GENOMICS, INSURANCE, AND GAME THEORY | WITH EDUARDO AZEVEDO
June 18, 2024
June 18, 2024

In this episode, we discuss with Eduardo Azevedo his research on adverse selection in insurance markets. Eduardo gives details on recent developments in genomic advances, also in light of the significant price decrease for obtaining the individual genome. We discuss the possible long-term effect on the insurance market (e.g. specific health insurances) if individuals had access to their genome and obtained their individual risk profile. Based on that we discuss the potential for adverse selection and Eduardos initial heuristic findings.

 

Eduardo Azevedo is Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on market design, applied microeconomic theory, and industrial organisation.

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EXPLAINING LOSS AVERSION USING GAME THEORETIC MODELS | WITH GREG KUBITZ
June 04, 2024
June 04, 2024

In this episode, we discuss with Greg Kubitz his research on loss aversion. Greg shares his research in which he targets to explain loss aversion using Game Theoretic approaches. He combines approaches such as the principal agent model to be able to look at loss aversion through the evolutionary lens considering realistic assumptions on biological constraints given through our neural system.

 

Greg Kubitz is senior lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. His research interests lie mainly within the field of game theory, with particular emphasis on information design and its applications to industrial organisation and behavioural economics.

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US VS. THEM: EXPERIMENTS ON GROUP IDENTITY| WITH YAN CHEN
May 21, 2024
May 21, 2024

In this episode, we engage with Yan Chen to unravel the underlying mechanisms of group identity and group discrimination. Yan discusses her research on ingroup favoritism. We learn how ingroup favoritism can occur even in assigned, artificial groups, and that people with a strong group identity even have a willingness to pay to shield themselves from outgroup information. Yan also provides insights into societal issues such as political polarization and group-based conflicts.

 

Yan Chen is the Daniel Kahneman Collegiate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan and a Research Professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research. Her academic work combines theoretical and experimental research to examine market and mechanism design, as well as public economics, providing insights into the mechanics of human interaction in social settings.

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GAME THEORY GOES TO SCHOOL: STRATEGIC DECISIONS IN YOUNG MINDS | WITH ISABELLE BROCAS
May 07, 2024
May 07, 2024

In this episode, we explore the fascinating intersection of developmental psychology and economic theory through the lens of children’s strategic decision-making abilities: Our discussion focuses on how the evolving capacities of children’s brains influence their ability to engage in complex strategic thoughts. Our guest Isabelle Brocas shares the fascinating findings from long-term experimental studies she conducted with children from kindergarten to young adulthood.

 

Isabelle Brocas is a Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California, where she co-directs both the Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Laboratory (LABEL) and the Theoretical Research in Neuroeconomic Decision-making (TREND) Institute. Her research primarily examines the decision-making processes in humans, with a focus on how young people make choices, the influences behind these decisions, and the cognitive limitations that may affect their rationality. For more on Isabelle’s work, you can visit her personal homepage.

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PLAYING FOR A BETTER SOCIETY: GAME THEORY AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY | WITH TORE ELLINGSEN
April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

In this episode, we delve into the complex world of fostering civic responsibility. Our guest Tore Ellingsen explains how the interplay of regulation, personal sacrifice, and culture can build socially responsible societies or organisations. The conversation is rooted in the perspectives offered in Tore’s recent book, “Institutional and Organizational Economics: A Behavioral Game Theory Introduction,” where he uses insights from behavioural game theory, psychology, and sociology to understand the dynamics of human interactions in groups.

 

Tore Ellingsen is Professor of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics, holding the Ragnar Söderberg Chair in Economics. His research interests span institutional, organisational, and behavioural economics, focusing on understanding the factors that contribute to the success or failure of human groups. Through his work, Tore seeks to answer pivotal questions regarding human cooperation and organisational effectiveness, providing valuable insights for both academia and real-world applications. For more information on Tore’s current research, you can check out his homepage.

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TO CLICK OR NOT TO CLICK: CAN WE TRUST SPONSORED SEARCH RESULTS? | WITH MAARTEN JANSSEN
April 09, 2024
April 09, 2024

In this episode, our guest Maarten Janssen helps us to explore the field of consumer (online) search. We discuss why economists are particularly interested in this topic and explore the reliability and dynamics of sponsored search results, uncovering the nuances and implications of these prevalent online phenomena. The insights from Maarten’s research (which he conducted together with Thomas Jungbauer, Marcel Preuss and Cole Williams on one paper and with Eeva Mauring on another paper) shed light on the complex interplay between consumer behavior, search algorithms, and market dynamics.

 

Maarten Janssen is Professor of Microeconomics at the University of Vienna. In addition to his role at the University, he is a fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, a research associate at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), and an academic affiliate at CEG Europe. Apart from consumer search, his research focusses on auctions and markets with asymmetric information. For more information about Maarten’s work and to read his papers, visit his homepage here and check out his paper on sponsored search positions.

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DISCOURAGING CONSUMPTION OF SIN GOODS – TAXES VERSUS NUDGES | WITH DMITRY TAUBINSKY
March 26, 2024
March 26, 2024

In this episode, we explore with Dmitry Taubinsky economic approaches on regulating sin goods such as alcohol or sugary beverages. We discuss the classical approach of taxation and Dmitry compares the approach to nudging approaches. Our discussion leads us into many further economic details: From externalities and internalities, over the question who bears the tax burden to the price elasticity of demand. Dmitry explains to us, why these effects are relevant, how they relate to each other and how they also affect the optimal taxation.

 

Dmitry Taubinsky is an associate professor of economics at UC Berkeley and a research associate at the NBER. His research interests include Behavioral Economics and Public Economics with a special focus on the intersection of both fields using a combination of theory, experiments, and surveys as methods for the analysis of his research questions. His papers referenced in the podcast on sin taxes and nudging can be found here and here.

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HIDDEN GAMES: EXPLORING THE RATIONALITY OF IRRATIONAL CHOICES | WITH MOSHE HOFFMAN
March 12, 2024
March 12, 2024

In this episode, we explore the often misunderstood relationship between game theory and human behaviour. Our guest Moshe Hoffman challenges the conventional belief that game theory only applies to rational actors. As Moshe explains in his book “Hidden games” (co-authored with Erez Yoeli), even seemingly irrational behaviours and preferences can be explained through game theory. We dive into the concept of ‘hidden games’ and their influence on our daily actions and decisions, revealing the subtle complexities of human social behaviour.

Moshe Hoffman is a lecturer at Harvard’s Department of Economics and at Boston College as well as an independent scholar. His interdisciplinary research bridges game theory, models of learning and evolution, and experimental methods to unravel the underpinnings of social behaviour, preferences, and ideologies. For more information on Moshe Hoffman and his work, you can visit his homepage.

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