Category Archives: Rationality

Which Coalition to Form (2)?

Yair Tauman (This post is a continuation of this previous post.) Aumann and Myerson proposed that if political and ideological matters are put aside, the party forming the coalition would (or should) prefer to form the coalition in which its own power (according … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Rationality | Tagged | 3 Comments

Which Coalition?

The problem. OK, we had an election and have a new parliament with 120 members. The president has asked the leader of one party to form a coalition. (This has not happened yet in the Israeli election but it will happen soon.) Such … Continue reading

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Basic Open Research and Failed Institutions – Imagine

Imagine if in the last ten years before the collapse, the huge failed financial and insurance institutions had had independent research units devoted to doing basic, open, and critical research on matters of relevance to the business, ethics, and future of these institutions. Might it have made a small … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Rationality | Tagged | 5 Comments

Majority Rules! – The Story of Achnai’s Oven

It is election day in Israel, and an opportunity to tell the beautiful and moving story of Achnai’s oven.  Towards the end of the first century, a few decades after the big Jewish rebellion against the Romans, the sages of the … Continue reading

Posted in Rationality | 10 Comments

The Retaliation Game

  We have two players playing in turns. Each player can decide to stop in which case the game is stopped and the two players can go on with their lives, or to act. The player that acts gains and … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Rationality | Tagged , , | 13 Comments


  Debates are fascinating human activities that are a mixture of logic, strategy, and show. Not everybody shares this fascination. The German author Emil Ludwig considered debates to be the death of conversation. Jonathan Swift regarded debates as the worst … Continue reading

Posted in Controversies and debates, Rationality | Tagged | 3 Comments

Thomas Bayes and Probability

How can we assign probabilities in cases of uncertainty?  And what is the nature of probabilities, to start with?  And what is the rational mechanism for making a choice under uncertainty? Thomas Bayes lived in the eighteenth century.  Bayes’ famous … Continue reading

Posted in Probability, Rationality | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Would you decide the election if you could?

One mental experiment I am fond of asking people (usually before elections) is this: Suppose that just a minute before the votes are counted you can change the outcome of the election (say, the identity of the winner, or even … Continue reading

Posted in Rationality | 12 Comments

The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Sympathy, and Yaari’s Challenge

Correlation and Cooperation In our spring school devoted to Arrow’s economics, Menahem Yaari gave a talk  entitled “correlation and cooperation.” It was about games as a model of people’s behavior, and Yaari made the following points: It is an empirical fact … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Games, Philosophy, Rationality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Rationality, Economics and Games

1. The “Center for Rationality” “Founded in 1991, the Hebrew University’s Center for the Study of Rationality  [at first it was simply called "Center for Rationality"] is a unique venture in which faculty, students, and guests join forces to explore the … Continue reading

Posted in Controversies and debates, Economics, Rationality | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments