ECON 221 


Fall, 2021

Li, Hao

Course Outline

Professor: Li, Hao, 604-822-6685, Iona Building 112,,

Classes: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am to 12:30pm, at Buch A203.  Lectures will be recorded and live-streamed to accommodate students who are not able to attend the class.  All viewing links to recordings and live streaming will be found at 

Announcements: Check Announcements on the Canvas page regularly for updates on all things about the course.  

Teaching Assistants: Igor Carreira ( and Emma Kinakin ( will be the two TA’s for this class.  Every week they will each conduct two identical one-hour tutorial sessions.  You may attend either Emma or Igor's weekly tutorials in person.  Only Emma will be able to use Zoom and record her tutorials that any of you will have access to.  Emma will hold an extra office hour at 10-11am on Fridays on Zoom and Igor will hold his at 5-6pm on Thursdays in Room 038 at the Iona Building. 

TextbookGames of Strategy (5th edition), by Dixit, Sheath, and Reiley.  One other possibly useful (not required) book, which presents the material at a more formal but still approachable level is An introduction to Game Theory by Martin J. Osborne (Oxford University Press).  

Office hours: Wednesdays 11am to 12:30pm, on Zoom (enabled on the course Canvas page).   

Course webpage  

The main goal of this course is to introduce you to the most fundamental concepts of (non-cooperative) game theory. The stress will be on applications that illustrate the usefulness of the modeling tools of Game Theory across areas in economics, as well as other disciplines including politics, biology and sociology. The broad objective is to enable students to recognize the strategic element of social interactions. The modeling tools and concepts of Game Theory can then be applied to gather insights on the behavior in these interactions and to understand how changes to the rules of interactions will likely affect social outcomes.

Evaluation: Your grade in the course will be based on your marks in 10 homework assignments, 1 midterm test and 1 final exam.  The total weight of the assignments in the course grade is 10%, so each assignment is worth 1 point out of 100.  I will post assignments on the teaching website; all assignments are from the textbook.  You will have one and a half week to complete an assignment and submit it online on Canvas.  After the assignment are submitted the answers will be posted on my website (  Igor and Emma will not correct the assignments, and will grade them according to how much effort was put in: 0 for no effort or very little effort, 0.5 for some but insufficient effort, and 1 for sufficient effort.  The weight on your midterm is 40% and the weight on your final is 50%. The midterm is tentatively set to Tuesday October 26 at 11am in class.  In exceptional circumstances when for documented serious medical reasons and other emergencies a student is unable to write the test, all 40% of the weight on the midterm will be automatically transferred to the final; there will not be a make-up test. To be eligible for the transfer you must: i) contact me via email within 24 hours before the time of the missed test; and ii) provide appropriate explanation of the nature of your illness and documentation.  A student who fails to comply with any of the above requirements will receive a grade of 0 for the missed midterm (and there will be no weight transfer).    

Structure:  The course material organized around three main components:  i) the theory component, which include the main modeling tools and theoretical concepts; ii) applications, which will illustrate the main concepts through examples drawn from a variety of fields/disciplines; and iii) the design component, which uses Game Theory to guide us in the design of institutions effective at achieving given objectives, such as auctions and matching.  The order of chapters in the textbook to be covered is follows: 

Lecture 1: Chapter 1 (Basic Ideas and Examples) 1, 2; Chapter 2 (How to Think about Games of Strategy) 2, 3; Chapter 3 (Games with Sequential Moves) 1, 2, 4, 3

Lecture 2: Chapter 4 (Simultaneous-move Games: Discrete Strategies) 1, 3, 4, 6, 5, 2, 7, 8

Lecture 3: Chapter 5 (Simultaneous-move Games: Continuous Strategies) 1, 2, 3 

Lecture 4: Chapter 6 (Combining Sequential and Simultaneous Movers) 1, 2 

Lecture 5: Chapter 7 (Simultaneous-move Games: Mixed Strategies) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Lecture 6: Chapter 8 (Uncertainty and Information) 1, 2, 4, 3, 5

Lecture 7: Chapter 10 (The Prisoners’ Dilemma and Repeated Games) 1, 2

Lecture 8: Chapter 11 (Collective-action Games) 1, 2, 3, 5

Lecture 9: Chapter 13 (Mechanism Design) 2, 1, 5

Lecture 10: Chapter 15 (Strategy and Voting) 1, 2, 4, 5

Lecture 11: Chapter 16 (Bidding Strategy and Auction Design) 1, 3, 2

Lecture 12: Chapter 17 (Bargaining) 3, 5, 1