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.

 

CRACKING THE CODE: INCENTIVISING TEAMS IN NON-ROUTINE TASKS | WITH FLORIAN ENGLMAIER
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023

In this episode, our guest Florian Englmaier explores the effectiveness of monetary incentives in driving team efficiency and innovation. He shares insights from an experimental study conducted in an escape room setting, uncovering surprising findings about the impact of incentives on non-routine tasks and the emergence of leadership dynamics within teams. 

Florian Englmaier is professor of organisational economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany. His main research interests lie in the fields of the economics of organisations and human resources, where he focuses on agency problems in organisations.

You can find the papers on his studies conducted in the escape room setting here and here.

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LEARNING FROM A NEGOTIATION EXPERT – THE ROLE OF ‘TACTICAL EMPATHY’ | WITH CHRIS VOSS
September 12, 2023
September 12, 2023

In this episode we are talking to Chris Voss. He is a former FBI hostage negotiator and has written a bestselling book “Never split the difference”. We discuss with him, what we can learn from hostage negotiations about negotiations in other settings, especially in the business context. Chris shares his approaches to negotiations and compares the importance of “tactical empathy” with Game Theoretic approaches. He also gives concrete and tangible proposals on how the listeners can improve their negotiation skills.

 

Chris Voss is a former FBI lead hostage negotiator, and founder and CEO of The Black Swan Group, a company focused on negotiation skills trainings. He is author of the bestselling book “Never Split the Difference“.

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LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES! – GAME THEORY IN FILMS | WITH SANTIAGO SANCHEZ-PAGES
August 01, 2023
August 01, 2023

In today’s episode, we discuss Game Theory in movies. Santiago shares in which movies the prisoner’s dilemma, the chicken game and other concepts are portrayed. The discussion brings us to many known movies, amongst them ‘The dark knight’, ‘A Beautiful Mind’, and many others. Below we have listed a list of links of the movie clips we discuss in this episode. Santiago also shares in the discussion which of them were successful in portraying Game Theory and which ones could have done a better job.

 

Santiago Sanchez-Pages is a Reader in Economics in the Department of Political Economy. His background is in economic theory, including bargaining, game theory and political economy, but one of his main research fields is also experimental economics. He has written a book on Economics in movies titled “The Representation of Economics in Cinema. Scarcity, Greed and Utopia”.

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HIDDEN GEMS – GATHERING INSIGHTS FROM UNCONVENTIONAL DATA SOURCES | WITH STEFANO DELLAVIGNA
July 18, 2023
July 18, 2023

In this episode, our guest Stefano DellaVigna shares his approach to answering research questions through various data sources, including lab experiments, natural experiments, and field experiments. We explore the significance of seeking out natural experiments and their value in enhancing our understanding of human behavior. Using examples such as the impact of violent movies on violence and changes in Fox News subscriptions, Stefano reveals surprising findings and their implications. We also discuss the availability of experimental data and the establishment of nudging units for research purposes.

Stefano DellaVigna is the Daniel Koshland, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Economics, Professor of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director of the Berkeley Initiative for Behavioral Economics and Finance. His research interests are, among others, in the area of behavioral economics, applied microeconomics and media economics.

You can find his paper on the influence of movie violence on violent crime here and his paper on the “Fox News effect” here.

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BEHIND THE STARS: UNCOVERING THE BIASES IN ONLINE REVIEWS | WITH TOMMASO BONDI
July 04, 2023
July 04, 2023

In this episode Tommaso Bondi shares his research on cultural markets with us. We take a deep dive into the insights he gained when studying online reviews and he explains to us why, counterintuitively, earning public recognition does not necessarily lead to higher ratings. A finding which, as we learn from Tommaso, is closely related to how well customer preferences and product match. Tommaso’s result does not only have theoretical merit but also seems to be observable in practice. We then also discuss the impact of experts on reviews and finally take a short detour to strategies of brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Tommaso Bondi is Assistant Professor of Marketing and the Demir Sabanci Faculty Fellow of Marketing and Management at Cornell Tech and the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. His research is mainly focused on economics of digitization, quantitative marketing, and behavioral and experimental economics.

You can find his papers “Alone, Together: A Model of Social (Mis)Learning from Consumer Reviews” and “The Good, The Bad and The Picky: Reference Dependence and the Reversal of Product Ratings” here and here.

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A TALE OF TWO PLAYERS: EXPLORING THE RUBINSTEIN BARGAINING MODEL | WITH ARIEL RUBINSTEIN
June 20, 2023
June 20, 2023

In today’s episode, we explore one of the classics in Bargaining theory: The Rubinstein Bargaining Model. And we have found the perfect guest – who better to explain this bargaining model than its founder Ariel Rubinstein himself! Ariel not only shares how the idea of the model came to be, but he also comments on some results and critically discusses whether the Rubinstein Bargaining Model (and Game Theory in general) has predictive or normative power for real-life situations.

Ariel Rubinstein is Professor of Economics at the School of Economics at Tel Aviv University and the Department of Economics at New York University. His research is focused on Economic Theory, in particular Decision Theory and Game Theory.

You can download his books for free (also the book “Economic fables” mentioned in our episode) and check out his Atlas of Cafés on his website https://arielrubinstein.tau.ac.il/ .

There, you also find his original paper introducing what came to be know the “Rubinstein Bargaining Model”: “Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model”

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CAN CASH CLOUD THE MIND? EXPLORING THE INFLUENCE OF INCENTIVES ON PERSONAL CHOICES | WITH SANDRO AMBUEHL
June 06, 2023
June 06, 2023

Monetary incentives are a part of our daily lives, from work bonuses to fines for minor traffic violations. But can they lead us to make bad decisions? In this episode, our guest Sandro Ambühl presents an empirical study in which he investigates this very question. He explains what constitutes a bad decision in the economic/rational sense and how people’s decisions are related to regret, information, and the size of the monetary incentive.

Sandro Ambühl is Assistant Professor of Behavioural Economics of Financial Markets at the University of Zurich, where his research is focused on Behavioural Experimental Economics, Behavioural and Experimental Finance, Repugnant Transactions and Rational Inattention.

You can find his paper “Can Incentives Cause Harm? Tests of Undue Inducement” here.

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CLICKING AGAINST THE CLOCK: HOW TIME PRESSURE AND REGRET INFLUENCE OUR BEHAVIOUR IN ONLINE SHOPPING | WITH TIMM OPITZ
May 23, 2023
May 23, 2023

In this episode, we explore how time pressure and regret can influence our search behaviour as customers in the world of online shopping. Our guest, Timm Opitz, sheds light on his research paper titled “Time Pressure and Regret in Sequential Search”, which investigates the impact of urgency and regret on optimal search behavior by conducting experiments in a controlled environment. He also shares some strategies we can use to overcome the influence of urgency and regret in our shopping behaviour.

Timm Opitz is economist currently pursuing his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich, Germany, where he is part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research group. As such, his research interests are Entrepreneurship, Behavioral Market Design and Developmental Psychology.

You can find his paper on “Time Pressure and Regret in Sequential Search” here.

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AI AND REGULATION: FINDING THE SWEET SPOT FOR CONSUMER WELFARE | WITH KEITH CHAN
May 09, 2023
May 09, 2023

Join us in this episode as we explore the rise of AI technology and the complex decisions that policy makers are facing regarding the protection of privacy and fostering of innovation. Our guest Keith sheds light on how moderately loosening regulations in a competitive market environment may maximize consumer welfare. However, we also discuss how some countries, such as Russia, strongly deviate from this strategy, indicating that consumer welfare may not be their top priority.

Keith Chan is Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where his research is centered on Microeconomics, Environmental Economics and Sustainable and Green Finance.

You can find his paper on the tradeoff between regulations and innovation for AI here.

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FROM CONNECTIONS TO CAREERS: ON THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL REFERRALS IN THE LABOUR MARKET | WITH FELIX MYLIUS
April 25, 2023
April 25, 2023

In this episode Felix Mylius shares his insights on personal referrals in labour markets. He explains to us why personal referrals are still relevant for job search today despite the predominant use of online platforms to find jobs and how all this is linked to Game Theory and matching markets. Together we dive into firms’ incentives, implications for search platforms and discuss whether this is transferable to other matching markets, like the dating market.

Felix Mylius is currently finishing his PhD in economics at the University of Cambridge. His research is mainly focused on applications of microeconomics within the field of matching markets.

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