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Thread: Game theory hard?

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    Game theory hard?

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    Out of curiosity: people often talk about the difficulty of PhD micro, using MWG as a synonym for hellish impossibility. Does this also extend to PhD micro 2? I mean a course that would use a text like Fudenberg/Tirole. I was reading through F/T recently because I'm interested in game theory, and it was extremely confusing...

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    The grad micro class I took was split between game theory and decision theory. I found the game theory section way more intuitive. I think it depends in the person.

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Most schools don't use MWG for the game theory portion of Micro 1.

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Wait is game theory not its own course? What's micro 2 at your school if not a dedicated game theory course?

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealslimkt View Post
    Wait is game theory not its own course? What's micro 2 at your school if not a dedicated game theory course?
    Quite a number of schools do consumer choice + game theory for micro 1, while micro 2 is general equilibrium and welfare economics.

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Oh. That's strange - my school has consumer choice/equilibrium/welfare for micro 1 and game theory/mechanism design for micro 2. Is that uncommon?

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealslimkt View Post
    Oh. That's strange - my school has consumer choice/equilibrium/welfare for micro 1 and game theory/mechanism design for micro 2. Is that uncommon?
    I donít think so. Those are a slight variation of the curriculum mentioned above, which follows the chapter order of MWG. However, I see your schoolís one looks good. Topics are close to one another in each course.

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealslimkt View Post
    Out of curiosity: people often talk about the difficulty of PhD micro, using MWG as a synonym for hellish impossibility. Does this also extend to PhD micro 2? I mean a course that would use a text like Fudenberg/Tirole. I was reading through F/T recently because I'm interested in game theory, and it was extremely confusing...
    I am currently in micro 2 which is game theory at my school. At my school we technically use Fudenberg/Tirole but my professor writes his own notes and I have almost exclusively used those to study as they are easier to follow albiet less thorough. I would imagine this is common at most programs, because there is some freedom in which solution concepts to cover as economists disagree on which ones are the best or the most legitimate.

    I can say though that while the basic ideas of the different equilbrium concepts aren't hard on their own, it can be extremely difficult to apply them to a problem set, both in terms of math and in terms of interpretation.

    If I had to rank micro 1 and 2 I would say 2 is slightly easier but more time intensive if that makes sense.

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    Re: Game theory hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealslimkt View Post
    Out of curiosity: people often talk about the difficulty of PhD micro, using MWG as a synonym for hellish impossibility. Does this also extend to PhD micro 2? I mean a course that would use a text like Fudenberg/Tirole. I was reading through F/T recently because I'm interested in game theory, and it was extremely confusing...
    Also try reading Rubinstein's game theory book. Game theory has this weird juxtaposition of being intuitive and mathematically impossible at the same time. We were assigned a homework problem that boiled down to proving Kuhn's theorem.

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