Two weeks ago I spent a couple of days at Lago di Maggiore, at the conference on social preferences, called Reciprocity: Theories and Facts. Three speakers are worth mentioning:
- Herbert Gintis, Santa Fe Institute, the author of Game Theory Evolving, a superb problem-oriented textbook. I like the book a lot and the author even more; he's engaging, interesting and poses "sexy" problems. In his keynote speech, he focused on the role of social norms in out-of-equilibrium behavior. What's interesting is that he illustrated that evolutionary game theory is an alternative and more realistic route how to explain certain type of equilibria, especially Aumann's correlated equilibrium.
- Joel Sobel, U of California, San Diego. The title of talk is self-explanatory: Do markets make people selfish? The main point is that "markets don't make people selfish, only make them look selfish."
- Robert Dur, Erasmus University Rotterdam. A 34-year old guy, who had a great motivating story for his paper, a perfectly structured presentation, and is moreover very friendly and nice. By the way, I'm just working on an extension of one of his recent papers...