David McAdams
Professor of Business Administration and Economics
Duke Fuqua School of Business and Economics Department
Duke Fuqua

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Game-Changer the Book ]The Game-Changer Files (external site) ]



I enjoy thinking about and commenting upon a wide variety of "games" played in the real world. Researching and writing "Game-Changer" intensified these applied interests, as I dove into several pressing real-world challenges from a game-theory perspective, looking for ways to "change the game" for the better and engaging with leading experts to fine-tune and disseminate those ideas.


If you are visiting this page for the first time, here is a good place to start to get a sense of the scope, style, and ambition of my applied work.

Game-Changer File Videos

  • February 2015: "Saving the Wild Rhino" [how to save the wild rhino from extinction by, strangely, embracing the corruption of the Vietnamese government]
  • September 2014: "A Better Best Buy" [how Best Buy can leverage customers' physical presence in its stores to truly "kill" showrooming]
  • June 2014: "Instagram Commerce" [a wild ride, covering everything from Instagram drug-dealers to why Facebook paid billions for mobile-message platform WhatsApp]
  • March 2014: "Drug-Seeking in the Emergency Department" [how hospitals can save lives -- and help address the ongoing crisis of widespread prescription-drug misuse and abuse -- by changing how they use ED patient-satisfaction scores]

On Game Theory [generally]

  • January 2015: "What is Game Theory? and My Own Game-Theory Journey", video clip from my Duke Forward talk on "Taming Superbugs" [full video here]
  • January 2014: "GAME-CHANGER: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations".  A fast-paced and fun introduction to game theory and how to apply it yourself to "change the game" to your own advantage.  Key ideas are illustrated through gripping strategic narratives, rather than equations, making "Game-Changer" a natural complement to a traditional game-theory textbook. 
  • July 2014: Science for the People podcast featuring a fun and wide-ranging conversation about "Game-Changer" and game theory. Host Rachelle Saunders and I discuss several topics from the book, including:
    • why game theory does NOT assume rationality
    • ways to escape the Prisoners' Dilemma
    • the dubious origins of the 1970s cigarette advertising ban
    • why diamonds AREN'T forever
    • changing the game of neglected diseases
    • changing the game of opioid misuse and abuse.

On Antibiotic Resistance

On Health Care and Biomedicine

On Counter-Terrorism

On Farming and Food / Resource Systems

  • October 2014: "The Future of Pest-Resistant Crops" by David McAdams, slides and audio from Thomas C. Sorensen Seminar talk presented at U. Nebraska Lincoln to a group of entomologists and plant scientists.

On Politics

On Prescription-Drug Abuse

On Online Commerce

On Market Design

On Finance

  • October 2014: "Confidence, Liquidity, and Financial Crises," presentation to Fuqua Finance Club
  • April 2008: "Revival Of ARS [Auction Rate Security] Market May Require Change" by Steven D. Jones, April 10th 2008, Dow Jones Newswire. [subscription required]

On Sports

On Media