Who's who and what's what in the history of rational choice theory, broadly defined

Many of these links are from the excellent History of Economic Thought site at the New School for Social Research, Johns Hopkins University. Some others are from the History of Mathematics Archive at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. This list emphasizes historical figures and pioneers of the modern era, plus a few more recent contributors for whom informative web pages exist. Suggestions for other links are welcome.


Early probability theory:

Blaise PASCAL (1623-1662)

Daniel BERNOULLI (1700-1782) see also...

Thomas BAYES (1702-1761)

Pierre-Simon LAPLACE (1749-1827)


Utilitarianism:

Jeremy BENTHAM (1748-1832)


Marginalist economics and utility theory under certainty:

William Stanley JEVONS (1835-1882)

Carl MENGER (1841-1921)

Marie-Ésprit Léon WALRAS (1834-1910)

Francis Ysidro EDGEWORTH (1845-1926)

Vilfredo PARETO (1848-1923)

Ragnar A.K. FRISCH (1895-1973)


Subjective probability and expected utility theory:

Frank H. KNIGHT (1885-1972)

Frank Plumpton RAMSEY (1903-1930)

Bruno de FINETTI (1906-1985)

John von NEUMANN (1903-1957) see also...

Leonard J. SAVAGE (1917-1971)

Maurice ALLAIS (1911-)

Robert J. AUMANN (1930-) see also...

Peter FISHBURN (topical bibliography, postcript file)


General equilibrium theory:

Kenneth J. ARROW (1921-)

Gérard DEBREU (1921-)

Jacques H. DRÈZE (1929-)


Game theory:

Antoine Augustin COURNOT (1801-1877)

John von NEUMANN (1903-1957) see also...

John F. NASH (1928-)

Lloyd S. SHAPLEY (1923-)

Martin J. SHUBIK (1926-)

Robert J. AUMANN (1930-) see also...

John C. HARSANYI (1920-)

Reinhard SELTEN (1930-)

David M. KREPS (1950-)


Social choice and welfare:

Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de CONDORCET (1743-1794)

Abram BERGSON (1914-)

Paul A. SAMUELSON (1915-)

Kenneth J. ARROW (1921-)

Amartya K. SEN (1933-)


Human capital theory:

Gary S. BECKER (1930-)


Behavioral and experimental economics:

Herbert SIMON (1916-)

Amos TVERSKY (1937-1996)


Political theory:

The Jon ELSTER page


Schools of thought (History of Economic Thought website):

Neo-Walrasian general equilibrium theory

Uncertainty, information, and games

Theory of uncertainty and information (another good who's-who list)

Game Theory

Finance Theory

New Institutional Economics

The Austrian School



More game theory links:

Al Roth's page -- market design, game theory, experimental economics...

Learning and evolution in games (essay by Fudenberg & Levine)

A history of game theory (by Paul Walker, University of Canterbury NZ)

Interactive prisoner's dilemma game (play against "Serendip")

Download GAMBIT (program for finding Nash equilibria of games)


Peter Wakker's home page with link to his annotated references on decisions and uncertainty (2.8M Word file)


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