What Should I Read in Game Theory?


Jane Flores

Game theory is a fascinating field of study that has garnered interest from economists, mathematicians, and social scientists alike. It can be defined as the study of strategic decision making, where the outcome of a decision depends not only on an individual’s own actions but also on the actions of others.

If you’re looking to dive into this subject, there are several books that are worth your time and attention. Here are some recommendations to get you started.

1. “Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction” by Ken Binmore

If you’re new to the field of game theory, this book is an excellent place to start. It provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of the subject and covers topics such as Nash equilibrium, bargaining theory, and evolutionary game theory. Binmore’s writing style is clear and accessible, making it easy for readers with no prior knowledge of the subject to understand.

2. “The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life” by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff

This book applies game theory principles to real-life situations such as business negotiations, political campaigns, and even romantic relationships. Through examples and case studies, Dixit and Nalebuff demonstrate how understanding game theory can help individuals make better decisions in their personal and professional lives.

3. “Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life” by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff

Another book by Dixit and Nalebuff that explores how game theory can be applied in various contexts. The authors provide practical advice on how to think strategically in situations where multiple parties have competing interests.

4. “Strategy: An Introduction to Game Theory” by Joel Watson

This textbook is widely used in undergraduate courses on game theory. It covers a range of topics including dominant strategies, extensive form games, and repeated games. Watson’s writing is straightforward and the book includes numerous examples and exercises to aid in understanding.

5. “Game Theory Evolving: A Problem-Centered Introduction to Modeling Strategic Interaction” by Herbert Gintis

This book takes a more mathematical approach to game theory and is aimed at readers with a stronger background in mathematics. Gintis presents the subject through a series of problems that gradually increase in complexity, allowing readers to build their skills and knowledge as they work through the book.


These are just a few of the many great books available on game theory. Whether you’re looking for an introduction to the subject or a more advanced exploration, there’s something out there for everyone. By studying game theory, you’ll gain valuable insights into strategic decision making that can be applied in a wide range of contexts.