The Impact of Reinhard Selten in the Field of Economics.
Reinhard Selten catapulted to fame in 1994 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, an honor he shared with John F. Nash of Princeton University and John C. Harsanyi of the University of California at Berkeley. The prize was awarded to this trio of economists due to their use of non-cooperative games like chess and poker to help understand complex economic issues. However, Selten had long been involved in many experimental aspects of economics, and has also worked with a variety of professors and scientists to better understand the experimental aspects of his field.
From The Beginning.
Reinhard Selten was born in Breslau, Germany in 1930. By the time he was a teenager, Selten had to leave Breslau due to his Jewish origins. With the Hitler regime controlling Germany and many Jews being outcast and annihilated, Selten fled with his family on a train. They eventually ended up in Melsungen, where Selten had the opportunity to go to high school. On his long walks to school (three and a half hours to school and back), Selten figured geometry and algebra problems in his head. Coupled with this interest in mathematics, Selten also had an extreme regard for economics due to his concern with politics and governmental affairs. .
When Selten left high school, he matriculated to the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University of Frankfurt to study mathematics. Early college interests in astronomy and physics were eventually replaced by game theory and economics. Selten's first personal taste of game theory came after he read the monumental study by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern titled Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Later at Frankfurt, Selten was able to write a master's thesis on cooperative game theory that propelled him to begin work on extensive games even when very little of this avenue had been examined.
Experimentation in Economics.