Publications

2015
Repeated Games
Jean-François Mertens, Sylvain Sorin, and Shmuel Zamir. 2/2015. Repeated Games. Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Starting with the basic results of normal form games, the authors move on to review the main properties of repeated games and covering supergames. The author then present the first exhaustive study of repeated games with incomplete information (first on one side then on both sides), including the asymptotic approach and the undiscounted maxmin/minmax. Their analysis then proceeds to stochastic games: Shapley operator, algebraic aspect, asymptotic and uniform approaches. The final section discusses new advances in areas such as incomplete information games with signals; stochastic games with lack of information; and non zero-sum games with incomplete information, including communication devices and equilibria. Game theory is extensively used in economics and other social sciences. This book offers a comprehensive treatment of repeated games. Starting with the basic results of normal form games, the authors move on to review the main properties of repeated games, covering supergames, games with incomplete information, and stochastic games. The final section discusses new advances in areas such as incomplete information games with signals and stochastic games with lack of information, and non zero-sum games with incomplete information including communication devices and equilibria


 

2014
Alon Harel and Keith N. Hylton. 2/2014. Research Handbook On The Economics Of Criminal Law. Edward Elgar Publishing. Abstract

Jeremy Bentham and Gary Becker established the tradition of analyzing criminal law in utilitarian and economic terms. This seminal book continues that tradition with specially commissioned, original papers that span the philosophical foundations of the use of economics in criminal law, both traditional economic perspectives and behavioral and experimental approaches to the discipline. The contributors examine and evaluate the optimal design of criminal law norms as well as the ideal structure of law enforcement institutions. They delineate what wrongs ought to be criminalized, identify the boundaries between criminal law and tort, and determine the optimal size of sanctions given the differential vulnerability of victims. They also analyze the special considerations that apply to the regulation of corporate crime, the effects of technology on crime, and the effects of the distribution of wealth on sentencing. This essential Handbook provides students and scholars of criminal law and law and economics the opportunity to explore the diversity of contemporary approaches to the economics of crime. Criminologists, sociologists and policy makers will also find it a valuable addition to their collections.

Alon Harel and Keith N. Hylton. 2/2014. Research Handbook On The Economics Of Criminal Law. Edward Elgar Publishing. Abstract

Jeremy Bentham and Gary Becker established the tradition of analyzing criminal law in utilitarian and economic terms. This seminal book continues that tradition with specially commissioned, original papers that span the philosophical foundations of the use of economics in criminal law, both traditional economic perspectives and behavioral and experimental approaches to the discipline. The contributors examine and evaluate the optimal design of criminal law norms as well as the ideal structure of law enforcement institutions. They delineate what wrongs ought to be criminalized, identify the boundaries between criminal law and tort, and determine the optimal size of sanctions given the differential vulnerability of victims. They also analyze the special considerations that apply to the regulation of corporate crime, the effects of technology on crime, and the effects of the distribution of wealth on sentencing. This essential Handbook provides students and scholars of criminal law and law and economics the opportunity to explore the diversity of contemporary approaches to the economics of crime. Criminologists, sociologists and policy makers will also find it a valuable addition to their collections.

Harel Alon. 1/2014. Why Law Matters. Oxford University Press. Abstract
Presents a provocative argument that standard justifications for political institutions and legal procedures are misguided, failing to account for law's distinctive value and popular appeal Multidisciplinary and accessible to students and experts in various fields such as lawyers, philosophers and political theorists Presents novel approaches to pressing political questions including the privatisation of prisons, privatisation of military operations and the use of torture in interrogation, A cross-jurisdictional work that illustrates its themes by using different legal systems including: US system, German Constitutional Law, the Israeli Legal system, the Indian Constitution Contemporary political and legal theory typically justifies the value of political and legal institutions on the grounds that such institutions bring about desirable outcomes - such as justice, security, and prosperity. In the popular imagination, however, many people seem to value public institutions for their own sake. The idea that political and legal institutions might be intrinsically valuable has received little philosophical attention. Why Law Matters presents the argument that legal institutions and legal procedures are valuable and matter as such, irrespective of their instrumental value. Harel advances the argument in several ways. Firstly, he examines the value of rights. Traditionally it is believed that rights are valuable because they promote the realisation of values such as autonomy. Instead Harel argues that the values underlying (some) rights are partially constructed by entrenching rights. Secondly he argues that the value of public institutions are not grounded (ONLY) in the contingent fact that such institutions are particularly accountable to the public. Instead, some goods are intrinsically public; their value hinges on their public provision. Thirdly he shows that constitutional directives are not mere contingent instruments to promote justice. In the absence of constitutional entrenchment of rights, citizens live "at the mercy of" their legislatures (even if legislatures protect justice adequately). Lastly, Harel defends judicial review on the grounds that it is an embodiment of the right to a hearing. The book shows that instrumental justifications fail to identify what is really valuable about public institutions and fail to account for their enduring appeal. More specifically legal theorists fail to be attentive to the sentiments of politicians, citizens and activists and to theorise public concerns in a way that is responsive to these sentiments. Readership: Legal and political philosophers, constitutional law theorists and academic lawyers, especially in constitutional law and human rights.
Illouz Eva. 1/2014. Hard-Core Romance: "Fifty Shades of Grey," Best-Sellers, and Society. The University of Chicago Press. Abstract

From its beginnings in Twilight fan-fiction to its record-breaking sales as an e-book and paperback, the story of the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels is both unusual and fascinating. Having sold over seventy million copies worldwide since 2011, E. L. James’s lurid series about a sexual ingénue and the powerful young entrepreneur who introduces her to BDSM sex has ingrained itself in our collective consciousness. But why have these particular novels—poorly written and formulaic as they are—become so popular, especially among women over thirty? In this concise, engaging book, Eva Illouz subjects the Fifty Shades cultural phenomenon to the serious scrutiny it has been begging for. After placing the trilogy in the context of best-seller publishing, she delves into its remarkable appeal, seeking to understand the intense reading pleasure it provides and how that resonates with the structure of relationships between men and women today. Fifty Shades, Illouz argues, is a gothic romance adapted to modern times in which sexuality is both a source of division between men and women and a site to orchestrate their reconciliation. As for the novels’ notorious depictions of bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism, Illouz shows that these are as much a cultural fantasy as a sexual one, serving as a guide to a happier romantic life. The Fifty Shades trilogy merges romantic fantasy with self-help guide—two of the most popular genres for female readers. Offering a provocative explanation for the success and popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, Hard-Core Romance is an insightful look at modern relationships and contemporary women’s literature.


 

2013
Shmuel Zamir, Michael Maschler, and Eilon Solan. 1/2013. Game Theory. Cambridge University Press. Abstract

Covering both noncooperative and cooperative games, this comprehensive introduction to game theory also includes some advanced chapters on auctions, games with incomplete information, games with vector payoffs, stable matchings and the bargaining set. Mathematically oriented, the book presents every theorem alongside a proof. The material is presented clearly and every concept is illustrated with concrete examples from a broad range of disciplines. With numerous exercises the book is a thorough and extensive guide to game theory from undergraduate through graduate courses in economics, mathematics, computer science, engineering and life sciences to being an authoritative reference for researchers. A comprehensive guide to game theory, including advanced material The treatment of the material is mathematically rigorous and has clear narrative explanations Chapters are independent, allowing instructors to easily incorporate parts of the book in their teaching.

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Sergiu Hart and Andreu Mass-Colell. 1/2013. Simple Adaptive Strategies. Abstract

This volume collects almost two decades of joint work of Sergiu Hart and Andreu Mas-Colell on game dynamics and equilibria. The starting point was the introduction of the adaptive strategy called regret-matching, which on the one hand is simple and natural, and on the other is shown to lead to correlated equilibria. This initial finding—boundedly rational behavior that yields fully rational outcomes in the long run—generated a large body of work on the dynamics of simple adaptive strategies. In particular, a natural condition on dynamics was identified: uncoupledness, whereby decision-makers do not know each other’s payoffs and utilities (so, while chosen actions may be observable, the motivations are not). This condition turns out to severely limit the equilibria that can be reached. Interestingly, there are connections to the behavioral and neurobiological sciences and also to computer science and engineering (e.g., via notions of “regret”). Simple Adaptive Strategies is self-contained and unified in its presentation. Together with the formal treatment of concepts, theorems, and proofs, significant space is devoted to informal explanations and illuminating examples. It may be used for advanced graduate courses—in game theory, economics, mathematics, computer science, engineering—and for further research.

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2012
איל וינטר. 1/2012. רגשות רציונליים. הוצאת זמורה ביתן. תקציר

חוקרי מדעי החברה נוהגים לטעון שהאדם הוא מכונת חישוב מלאת קפריזות ובאגים. שהרגש והאינטואיציה מטעים אותנו פעם אחר פעם ומרחיקים אותנו מההחלטה הנכונה, הרציונלית. רגשות רציונליים, ספרו המהפכני של הפרופ´ אייל וינטר, ראש המרכז לחקר הרציונליות באוניברסיטה העברית, הופך על ראשה את ההיררכיה המקובלת בין השכל לרגש. וינטר כופר בחלוקה הקשיחה המקובלת בין המערכת הרגשית למערכת הרציונלית, ומראה בשורה ארוכה ומאלפת של מחקרים כיצד רק שילוב בין שתי המערכות הללו מביא אותנו להחלטות הטובות ביותר להישרדותנו שלנו. רגשות רציונליים מוכיח כי מותר האדם החושב והמרגיש על פני האדם החושב בלבד. כך למשל: - אנשים כועסים מבחינים טוב יותר בין עיקר לתפל בלהט הויכוח - גם אם נעצים רגשות כדי לשרת את האינטרסים שלנו – סופנו להשתכנע ברגש המוגזם - תחושת שייכות, אפילו מלאכותית וקלושה, מולידה שיתופי פעולה פוריים. - אמפטיה ורגישות לזולת יקנו לנו יתרונות חומריים מיידיים - ואפילו תכונות כמו אלטרואיזם וענווה מתגלות כאסטרטגיה אבולוציונית יעילה.

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