ECON 3503 - Game Theory III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

This course provides an introduction to Game Theory. Game Theory is a mathematical framework which makes possible the analysis of the decision making process of interdependent subjects. It is aimed at explaining and predicting how individuals behave in a specific strategic situation, and therefore help improve decision making. A situation is strategic if the outcome of a decision problem depends on the choices of more than one person. Most decision problems in real life are strategic. The course will explain in depth the standard equilibrium concepts (such as Nash Equilibrium, Subgame-Perfect Nash Equilibrium, and others) in Game Theory. To illustrate the concepts, real-world examples, case studies, and classroom experiments might be used.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 3503
    Course Game Theory III
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible ECON 3016
    Assessment Typically assignments, mid-semester exam, final exam and participation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Virginie Masson

    Office hours: TBA (See MyUni)

    Office location: Nexus 10, Level 4, Room 4.29

    Telephone: 8313 4926

    Preferred method of contact: email. Please do not call unless absolutely necessary.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify strategic situations and represent them as games
    2 Solve simple games using various techniques
    3 Analyse economic situations using game theoretic techniques
    4 Recommend and prescribe which strategies to implement
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Strategy: An Introduction to Game Theory, by Joel Watson, W. W.Norton & Company, 3rd edition
    Recommended Resources

    An Introduction to Game Theory, by Martin J. Osborne, Oxford University Press, USA (August 1, 2003)

    Games of Strategy, Second Edition, by Avinash K. Dixit and Susan Skeath, W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (April 2004)

    Online Learning

    This course uses MyUni intensively and you are required to check the website regularly. 

    Course material such as lectures notes, assignments, assignment answer guides and supplementary material for developing your mathematical skills are available under MyUni. Also, a discussion board will be available for questions you may want to ask your lecturer or fellow classmates.

    Game theory is best learnt through practice and hence, your attendance to and participation in lectures and workshops is mandatory. 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Online Course Material:
    Some material will be posted on MyUni to introduce the concepts that we will discuss during the workshop sessions. You are expected to have read and understood the material BEFORE coming to the workshop so that we can allocate our time more efficiently when exploring further these concepts.

    Workshops will provide you with the necessary understanding of the material needed to solve the exercises you will be given for assignments or exams. Examples will be used to illustrate the concepts presented in this course. Sessions will be interactive and are designed to be delivered face-to-face. There will be no recordings of these workshops.
    Exercises to be prepared for the workshop will be posted online. You are required to prepare ALL the exercises. During the workshop, some students may be asked to come to the board and present their work. Your lecturer will provide assistance if needed and questions from other students are strongly encouraged.

    Tutorials will address the shotcomings and difficulties identified during workshops sessions, and will clarify the expectations set for exams and assignments.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.

    This translates to 12 hours per week for a semester course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching & Learning Activities Related Learning Outcomes
    Workshops 1 - 4
    Tutorials 1 - 4




    1 Introduction - Extensive Form - Strategies and The Normal Form
    Beliefs, Mixed Strategies, and Expected Payoffs - General Assumptions & Methodology
    Chapters 1-3
    Chapters 4-5
    2 Dominance and Best response - Rationalizability & Iterated Dominance
    Nash Equilibrium
    Chapters 6-7
    Chapters 9-10
    3 Mixed-Strategy Nash Equilibrium – Strictly Competitive Games & Security Strategies Chapters 11-12
    4 Details of the Extensive Form - Backward Induction and Subgame Perfection Chapters 14-15
    5 Games with Continuous Strategies
    6 Bayesian Nash Equilibrium, Rationalizability Chapters 26-27
    7 Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium - Job Market Signaling & Reputation Chapters 28-29
    8 Repeated Games, Reputation, Random Events and Incomplete Information Chapters 22-24
    Mid Semester Break
    9 Mid-semester test (during workhsop time)
    10 Bargaining Problems - Analysis of Simple Bargaining Games Chapters 18-19
    11 TBA - Depending on students' preferences
    12 Review for Final Exam

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Due Date/ Week Weight Length(Word,Time) Learning Outcomes
    Mid-term Test Week 8 20% During workshop time, same location 1 - 4
    Workshop Participation Weekly 5% N/A 1 - 4
    (some may involve group work)
    Weekly 25% TBA 1 - 4
    Final Exam Exam period 50% 3 hours 1 - 4
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To gain a pass, a mark of at least 45% must be obtained on the final examination as well as a total of at least 50% overall.

    Important Notes on Assessments:

    1 - Failure to sit the midterm examination will result in receiving zero points. The grade of the final examination will then account for 70% of the overall grade. If a medical certificate is provided, the final examination will also count for 70% of the overall grade.

    2 - Assigments MUST be submitted online through MyUni. No other type of submission will be accepted.

    3 - The ‘workshop participation’ component of the assessment will be partly based on your attempt to answer questions and exercises during the workshop. You will be allocated one of three possible grades, 1, 3 or 5, based on the quality and frequencies of your answers. You may volunteer multiple times, and have the opportunity to improve your grade for this component throughout the semester. Obviously, your grade is likely to be correlated with your attendance as it is not possible to actively participate if you are not present. Please see your lecturer if you have any concerns.

    4 - If you are unable to attend workshops or submit your assignments online for some medical reasons, you have to provide a medical certificate. If the medical certificate covers a period longer than a week, you will need to organise some other arrangements with the lecturer. The same applies if you provide more than two medical certificates during the semester.

    5 - Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the final examination because of poor hand-writing or poor English expression.

    6 - Assessment marks prior to the final exam may be displayed on the course website. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the lecturer of any discrepancies.

    Assessment Detail
    Mid semester test  (Week 9) - 20%

    Date and time: During workshop time, same location 

    This test will assess the topics of Weeks 1 to 8.

    It will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions. Past mid semester test papers will be available on MyUni, for which no answers will be provided. You are however encouraged to talk about the past exams and their solutions between you or with myself during my office hours.

    Workshop Participation - 5%


    You will be asked to prepare some exercises before going to your workshop. Please be aware that this preparation is important as it will improve your learning during the workshop and will contribute towards a dynamic environment where students and lecturer will interact more actively with one another. Workshop participation will be graded as described in the following “Assessment Details” section.

    Assignments - 25%


    Assignments are to be submitted on time. Some assignments may be group assignments.

    Final Exam - 50%

    There will be a 3 hour exam. The final exam is comprehensive, i.e. it can cover ALL the topics

    1 - Submission of assignments MUST be online through MyUni. Failure to submit an assignment on time will lead to a zero mark.

    2 - Extensions and alternative assessment conditions:
    It is your responsibility to contact the lecturer in the first 2 weeks of the semester to discuss extension or alternative assessment options. This applies to ALL students, included but not limited to those registered with the disability centre or the elite athletes program. Exceptional circumstances will be evaluated by your lecturer on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed whenever possible at least 48 hours before the due date.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Additional Assessment

    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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