The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Harsanyi, John C. (1920–2000)

  • Roger B. Myerson
Reference work entry


John Harsanyi worked to extend the general theoretical framework of economic analysis. He established the modern basis for utilitarian ethics. He developed a general bargaining solution to that included the Nash bargaining solution and the Shapley value as special cases. He became a leading advocate of non-cooperative game theory as the general framework for analysis of social interactions among rational individuals. He developed the tracing procedure to select among multiple equilibria of games. He showed how to interpret mixed-strategy equilibria in game theory. His general model of Bayesian games with incomplete information became a cornerstone of information economics.


Bargaining Bayesian decision theory Bayesian game Cardinal utility Cooperative game theory Game theory Harsanyi, J. Incomplete information in game theory Information economics Interpersonal utility comparisons Morgenstern, O. Nash bargaining solution Nash equilibrium Neumann–Morgenstern utility axioms Noncooperative game theory Private information Rationality Rule utilitarianism Schelling, T. Shapley value von Neumann, J. Welfare economics 

JEL Classifications

B31 C70 D60 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger B. Myerson
    • 1
  1. 1.