Last modified on 13 October 2014, at 02:54

Robert Aumann

Robert Aumann, 2010

Robert Aumann (born 1930, in Frankfurt,Germany) is an Israeli mathematician, Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics.


  • It turns out that the Romans were champs in making peace. Their motto was that if you want to make peace, you need to prepare for war. They knew game theory.
    • Quoted by Elad Benari in The Frantic Desire for Peace Only Brings War. [1]
  • The strong equilibrium point f just described is one of "unrelenting ferocity" against offenders. It exhibits a zeal for meting out justice that is entirely oblivious to the sometimes dire consequences to oneself or to the other faitheful——i.e., those who have not deviated.
    • "Acceptable Points in General Cooperative n-Person Games," in Contributions to the Theory of Games IV, Annals of Mathematics Study 40, edited by A. W. Tucker and R. D. Luce, Princeton University Press, 1959, pp. 287-324.
  • "Interactive Decision Theory" would perhaps be a more descriptive name for the discipline usually called Game Theory.
    • Robert Aumann (2000) Collected Papers: Vol. 1. p. 47

War and peace (2005)Edit

Robert J. Aumann (2005) WAR AND PEACE Prize Lecture1, December 8, 2005

  • I would like to suggest that we should perhaps change direction in our efforts to bring about world peace. Up to now all the effort has been put into resolving specific conflicts: India–Pakistan, North–South Ireland, various African wars, Balkan wars, Russia–Chechnya, Israel–Arab, etc., etc. I’d like to suggest that we should shift emphasis and study war in general.
    • p. 1
  • War has been with us ever since the dawn of civilization. Nothing has been more constant in history than war.
    • p. 1
  • A person’s behavior is rational if it is in his best interests, given his information
    • p. 2
  • The theory of repeated games is able to account for phenomena such as altruism, cooperation, trust, loyalty, revenge, threats (self-destructive or otherwise) – phenomena that may at first seem irrational – in terms of the “selfish” utility-maximizing paradigm of game theory and neoclassical economics.
    • p. 3
  • The players in a game are said to be in strategic equilibrium (or simply equilibrium) when their play is mutually optimal: when the actions and plans of each player are rational in the given strategic environment – i.e., when each knows the actions and plans of the others.
    • p. 4
  • Repetition acts as an enforcement mechanism: It makes cooperation achievable when it is not achievable in the one-shot game, even when one replaces strategic equilibrium as the criterion for achievability by the more stringent requirement of perfect equilibrium.
    • p. 7

About AumannEdit

  • In many real-world situations, cooperation may be easier to sustain in a long-term relationship than in a single encounter. Analyses of short-run games are, thus, often too restrictive. Robert Aumann was the first to conduct a full-fledged formal analysis of so-called infinitely repeated games. His research identified exactly what outcomes can be upheld over time in long-run relations.

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