Project period: February – May 2016 

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Peter Postl 
University of Bristol: Francesco Giovannoni (PI) 
Cardiff University: Indrajit Ray 
University of Exeter: Rajiv Sarin 

Project overview

Our GW4 community aims to tackle both the methodological challenges in bringing game theory to bear on economic and political issues where there can be conflict or cooperation, and applying the lessons learned to relevant policy debates. 


Game theory is extremely influential in modern economics. By allowing economists to model and understand strategic interactions, it has spawned a vast number of applications, many of which have not just changed our theoretical understanding of micro-and macroeconomic issues, but have had a direct impact on policy in many different areas. For example, game theory has fundamentally changed the way utilities regulators operate, has helped create much more efficient allocations of new doctors to hospital internships in the US and the UK, and has drastically improved the possibility of matching kidney donors and transplant recipients. 

Game theory is the ideal tool for the analysis of the underlying incentives for conflict or cooperation. It has a vast number of applications, from understanding the issues of adoption and diffusion of green technologies, to the structure of international coalitions, to the political constraints underlying economic inequality, to development economics. 

Project summary 

The community successfully consolidated existing collaborations and created new interactions between GW4 academics interested in both the theoretical and empirical issues of conflict and cooperation under the general methodological scheme of game theory. Through two workshops, the community were able to scope the existing research across the institutes and to develop collaborations. These led to grant applications for specific research projects and long-term academic collaborations between the different GW4 institutions.