PS 1514: Political Strategy in International Relations

William Spaniel

Spring 2017

Lecture: Tu/Th 11:00-12:15, Benedum Hall 158

Office Hours: Posvar Hall 4446, Tu 12:45-2:45

Email: williamspaniel@gmail.com

Syllabus

Problem Set 1

Problem Set 2

Problem Set 3

**Announcements**

If you scored lower than 5 on the second exam, you are at risk of failing the class. Students in this situation must complete a “redemption” assignment, which is due on April 4. This assignment simply requires you answer Question 4 (all parts) and Question 6b from Problem Set 2. Satisfactory work on these questions will keep you on pace to pass. You may work by yourself or in groups to understand how to solve the questions, but the ultimate write up must be your own. Note that completion of this assignment does not guarantee a passing grade overall in the class, as an unacceptable grade on the third exam could still result in this unfortunate outcome.

We will not be meeting during the university-scheduled final exam period. Instead, the final exam will be administered on April 20 during the normally scheduled class period.

**4/11 and 4/13: Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma**

Lectures: Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma (Finite), Discount Factors, Geometric Series and Infinite Payoffs, Grim Trigger

**2/9: War’s Inefficiency Puzzle**

Reading: Rationalist Explanations for War

Videos: Algebraic Bargaining Model of War, War’s Bargaining Range, Crisis Bargaining

**2/7: Bargaining**

Videos: The Ultimatum Game, Outside Options

If you are wondering why it is safe to assume that the receiver accepts when indifferent in our search for equilibria, here is the explanation.

**1/26: Comparative Statics**

Videos: Probability Distributions, Generalized Battle of the Sexes, Penalty Kicks, Establishing Causation, Comparative Statics (with Derivatives), Comparative Statics (without Derivatives)

You are now capable of doing the entire first problem set.

Reading: The Robinson Crusoe Fallacy

**1/24: Subgame Perfect Equilibrium**

Videos: Subgame Perfect Equilibrium, Backward Induction, How NOT to Write a Subgame Perfect Equilibrium, Multiple Subgame Perfect Equilibria, Commitment Problems

You are now capable of doing all of the problems in the first unit of the problem set.

**1/19: Calculating Payoffs and Efficiency**

Videos: Battle of the Sexes, Calculating Payoffs, Pareto Efficiency

You are now capable of doing all of the problems in the first unit of the problem set.

**1/17: Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium**

Videos: Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium, The Mixed Strategy Algorithm, How NOT to Write a Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium

**1/12: Nash Equilibrium**

Videos: Stag Hunt and Pure Strategy Nash Equilibrium, What Is a Nash Equilibrium?, Best Responses

**1/10: Dominance**

Videos: The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Strictly Dominated Strategies, Iterated Elimination of Strictly Dominated Strategies

Problem Set 1 is posted.

**1/5: Introduction**

If you’d like to preview the first month’s worth of materials, check this playlist: