Harsanyi, John Charles

Harsanyi, John Charles,

1920–2000, Hungarian-American economist, b. Budapest, grad. Univ. of Budapest (Ph.D., 1947), Stanford (Ph.D., 1959). Harsanyi briefly taught (1947–48) sociology in Budapest before fleeing the Communist regime in 1950 for Australia. He was a lecturer at the Univ. of Queensland (1954–56) and a researcher at the Australian National Univ. (1958–61), but subsequently settled in the United States and taught at Wayne State Univ., Detroit (1961–63) and the Univ. of California, Berkeley (1964–90). A specialist in game theory (see games, theory ofgames, theory of,
group of mathematical theories first developed by John Von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. A game consists of a set of rules governing a competitive situation in which from two to n
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), Harsanyi extended the work of John F. NashNash, John Forbes, Jr.,
1928–2015, American mathematician, b. Bluefield, W.Va., grad. Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon Univ., B.A. and M.A. 1948), Ph.D. Princeton 1950.
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 so that the theory could be applied to situations in which the participants had different information, enabling game theory to better reflect the real world. He shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Nash and Reinhard SeltenSelten, Reinhard
(Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten), 1930–2016, German mathematician and economist, b. Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland), Ph.D. Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Univ., Frankfurt, 1961. He taught at the Free Univ. of Berlin (1969–72) and the Univ.
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 in 1994 for their work on game theory, which enabled it to become an important tool in the analysis of economic issues.