Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 June 2009
In its brief history, the relation between game theory and economics has been characterized by phases of feverish elaboration of new contributions followed by periods in which an open skepticism concerning its usefulness prevailed. Moreover, this vaguely cyclical pattern of evolution has affected various research areas. After an initial period in which game theorists focused their attention on competitive market models, in the 1970s and 1980s they turned to the problems of oligopolistic markets and bargaining. Today the latter research areas are going through a phase of sedimentation and selection while other fields of study receive a strong impulse from the application of game theory.