Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1287846
 
 

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


Richard H. McAdams


University of Chicago Law School


Southern California Law Review, Vol. 82, 2009
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 437
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 241

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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Date posted: October 23, 2008 ; Last revised: January 12, 2009

Suggested Citation

McAdams, Richard H., Beyond the Prisoners' Dilemma: Coordination, Game Theory, and Law. Southern California Law Review, Vol. 82, 2009; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 437; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 241. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1287846

Contact Information

Richard H. McAdams (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2520 (Phone)
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