What Is the Study of Game Theory in Economics?


Jane Flores

Game theory is a field of study in economics that focuses on analyzing strategic decision-making. It aims to understand how people interact in situations where the outcome depends on the actions of multiple individuals. The theory is widely used in economics, political science, psychology, and other social sciences.

What is Game Theory?

At its core, game theory is concerned with studying decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. It seeks to understand how rational individuals make choices when they are uncertain about the actions of others.

The study of game theory typically involves analyzing various scenarios or games, where players must make decisions based on the actions of others. Each player’s decision affects the outcome of the game, which may be positive or negative based on their choices.

Types of Games

There are many types of games that economists study using game theory. One common example is the Prisoner’s Dilemma game, which involves two individuals who must decide whether to cooperate or defect. The payoff for each player depends on their own choice as well as that of their opponent.

Another popular example is the Battle of the Sexes game, where two people must decide on a mutually beneficial activity without communicating with each other beforehand. The payoff for each player depends on their coordination with their partner.


Game theory has many practical applications in economics and beyond. In business, it can be used to analyze competition between firms and strategic decision-making by managers. In politics, it can be applied to negotiations between countries or political parties.

Game theory has also been used in psychology to better understand human behavior and decision-making processes. For example, it has been used to analyze bargaining behavior and cooperation among individuals.


In summary, game theory is a fascinating field that seeks to understand how individuals make decisions in situations where their choices affect others. By studying different types of games, economists and other researchers can gain insights into human behavior and decision-making processes. Using game theory, we can better understand the strategic interactions between individuals and groups in a variety of contexts.