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Game Theory: fools gold for law departments

Ever since John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern published Theory of Games and Economic Behavior in 1944, economists and other social scientists have tried to apply to real-life situations the theoretical insights subsumed under “game theory.” As with the classic prisoners’ dilemma, game theoretic analyses work best when two parties engage in a zero-sum game.

Litigation, especially repeated litigation with the same adversary, as occurs with mass tort or product liability litigation, meets this description: plaintiff and adversary contesting over a somewhat fixed amount – total fees and settlements.

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