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Beyond the Prisoners' Dilemma: Coordination, Game Theory, and Law

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Type: Book
Author: McAdams, Richard
Date: 2008
Agency: The Law School, University of Chicago, IL
Series: John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper no. 437
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6349
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): prisoner's dilemma
game theory
Abstract: "This article reviews the state of game theory in legal scholarship and finds that it remains excessively focused on one tool: the Prisoners' Dilemma. I claim that this focus is not justified, that it distracts legal scholars from exploiting other insights of game theory, particularly the problem of coordination. I show how the need for coordination is as pervasive and important to law as the Prisoners' Dilemma, illustrating with game theory discussions of constitutional law, international law, property disputes, traffic, culture, gender roles, and many other topics. I also explain how a focus on the Prisoners' Dilemma unnecessarily contributes to the divide between Law & Economics and Law & Society scholars, all of whom might find some common ground in exploring coordination games."

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