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.

 

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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THE DOCTOR IS IN! MISGUIDED INCENTIVES AND REGULATION IN HEALTHCARE MARKETS | WITH SIMON REIF
April 11, 2023
April 11, 2023

In this episode we are diving into the topic of healthcare markets together with Simon Reif. He explains to us what makes the healthcare market so special, why its characteristics call for regulation and how systems differ substantially across countries. Focusing on Europe we discuss how, counterintuitively, setting a “global budget” for hospitals leads to poorer service and how generating the right incentives could change the healthcare market for the better in future.

 

Simon Reif is a health economist heading the research group “Health Markets and Health Policy” at the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany. His research is focused on market structures, reimbursement and digitalization of health care provision.

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TRUTH-TELLING BY DESIGN: HOW MARKET DESIGN CAN ALLEVIATE INEQUALITY | WITH PIOTR DWORCZAK
March 28, 2023
March 28, 2023

In this episode Piotr Dworczak explains to us how Market Design can contribute to alleviating inequality by increasing accuracy of policies targeting inequality. He does so using an example from the housing market which shows that more often than not it is very difficult to ensure that subsidies actually reach people in need since they cannot be easily identified. This is where Market Design comes into play: by generating targeted incentives which have a selection effect, it makes e.g. affordable housing policies more effective.

 

Piotr Dworczak is associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Northwestern University and Researcher at the Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE) in Warsaw, Poland. He does research on Mechanism and Information Design, specifically with more applied interests in inequality-aware Market Design.

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WHY SOMETIMES WE ARE BETTER OFF NOT KNOWING – ON INFORMATION DESIGN AND BAYESIAN PERSUASION | WITH EMIR KAMENICA
March 14, 2023
March 14, 2023

In this episode Emir Kamenica introduces us to the research field of information design. He recaps the history of modelling information in economics from the 70s to today, and explains term “Bayesian Persuasion” (and if and how it differs from the term “information design”). He then illustrates how having full information e.g. as a navigation app user can lead to inefficient outcomes and what information design means in the context of mystery novels, gambling and entertainment in general.

 

Emir Kamenica is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and, together with his co-researchers, has founded the field of Bayesian persuasion. Beyond that his research is centered on different topics in microeconomics.

During the interview, Emir mentions one of his papers on how information design can reduce congestion. You can find this paper here.

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PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS – ON COMMITMENT IN AUCTIONS | WITH VITALI GRETSCHKO
February 28, 2023
February 28, 2023

In this episode, Vitali Gretschko sheds some light on a fundamental game theoretic concept: Commitment. He explains why commitment is a crucial prerequisite of auctions and introduces different ways of generating commitment.

We also explore how commitment is linked to the concept of information and discuss auction concepts which make it less likely for the auctioneer to break their commitment afterwards.

 

Vitali Gretschko is Professor of Market Design at the University of Mannheim and head of the ZEW Research Department “Market Design”.

In the interview, Vitali mentions papers explaining how to use cryptography to create commitment in mechanism designs. You can find them here and here.

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AUCTIONS, BIDDING STRATEGIES AND UNCERTAINTY | WITH BERNHARD KASBERGER
February 14, 2023
February 14, 2023

From selling on eBay over Google advertisements to buying a house, auctions are all around us! But what makes it so difficult to find the right bidding strategy? In this episode Bernhard Kasberger sheds some light on what a so called first price auction is, why it is challenging to “bid correctly” and what the recipe for the optimal bid strategy under maximum uncertainty is in theory. He explains how his findings apply to the real life and which additional related topics he is currently working on.

 

Bernhard Kasberger currently works as a Postdoc at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. His research is focused on auctions, market design, industrial organization and game theory.

The research Bernhard presents in the interview is detailed in this paper.

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A DANGEROUS GAME: ON GEOENGINEERING AND MORAL HAZARD | WITH GERNOT WAGNER
January 31, 2023
January 31, 2023

A dangerous game: On Geoengineering and moral hazard | with Gernot Wagner

In this episode Gernot Wagner explains the concept of Geoengineering and its potential role in preventing climate change. He analyses the implications of Geoengineering from a game theoretic perspective and shows the connection to the game theoretic concept of “moral hazard”.

He also gives some advice on how we can all profit from the (potential) advantages of Geoengineering (and other new technologies), without falling into the “moral hazard trap”.

Gernot Wagner is climate economist at Columbia Business School where his research is focused on climate risks and climate policy. He is also the author of many books about climate change and what to do against it, with “Geoengineering: the Gamble” being his latest one.

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