Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Social network-ized economic markets

Extremely interesting -- a generalization of Arrow-Debreu equilibrium in which interactions are restricted along a social network. Kakade et al 2005. (Found through NIPS 2004 (which looks like a great conference)). Also a longer and more detailed related version: Kakade et al 2004.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Pure game theory is debatably social science, so here goes.

Inspired by various 5-, 7-, and even 25-move extensions to Rock, Paper, Scissors, my friends and I were wondering whether it's possible to have an even-move version. It doesn't seem possible, at least for 4-RPS. I conjecture that all even-RPS's might be similarly impossible. Here's a very! rough writeup.

Neuroeconomics reviews

Here are two great reviews, from 2003 then 2005.

1) PLoS Biology: Economy of the Mind nicely reviews the field and many interesting experiments.

One annoyance: They need to say "Banburismus" is more commonly known as Bayesian learning. (Banbury, England was a city near Bletchley Park they got their paper from when doing Bayesian statistical codebreaking of the Enigma cipher in World War II. Read the story here in MacKay's excellent free online textbook.) Thanks to neurodudes for the PLoS link.

2) Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics is written by the leaders of the field, advocating their approach. I like the detail and their careful descriptions of how cognitive neuroscience findings can enhance our understanding of economic phenomena.

Also, the second is useful to read since it's the target of criticism by the more recent The case for mindless economics, which I view as an empire-strikes-back sort of paper. I'm waiting for Part III of this saga...