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Economics and Game Theory

Economics and Game Theory

Is Uber stealing jobs? Is the design of the Euro-zone flawed? And why does it pay off to go to university? Economics help us to address - and frequently is the language of - key debates. For students of political economy, and the social sciences, it is crucial to understand this developing language. Participants in this programme will learn the principles of economics and receive an introduction to game theory.

How to apply

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 28 June - 16 July 2020
Housing dates: 26 June - 17 July 2020
Academic fee: € 1600
Housing fee:

€ 500 - 650* and € 75 refundable deposit. Housing prices will vary per programme depending on location. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.

Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in game theory, economics, and political science broadly.
Academic director: Dawid Walentek
Early application deadline: 10 January 2020
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2020

*Applications for summer 2020 open on 1 September 2019.

*Dates and prices are tentative and subject to change. All information for summer 2020 will be finalized by 1 December 2019. Check back regularly for updates. For more information, email

If you’ve been referred to this summer course as a pre-requisite for a UvA Master's programme, submit an application via the link above, and email us at to let us know you’ve done so.

Programme description

Students of this three-week course will cover principles of micro- and macro-economics, and receive an introduction to game theory. We will also cover the basics of different types of economic modelling, and their applications for economic policy and social science. The goal? To demystify neoclassical economic theories and to give clearer insight into this important field that influences the social and behavioural sciences in diverse ways.

The course is divided into three blocks. In the first block students become familiar with the main tenants of microeconomics: how markets work, and why they fail, as well as economics of the public sector and labour markets. The second block introduces the participants to macroeconomics and gives an understanding of the economy in the long run. Students will learn about: money and prices, the real economy,  data for macroeconomic indicators, and problems associated with the data quality for economics. Finally, in the third block, students are introduced to game theory and its application. We will focus on the Prisoners’ Dilemma in a static and a dynamic setting and introduce the basics of the Nash equilibrium as practical means to understanding game theory. Students will learn why economic cooperation is difficult to achieve and what role repeated interaction and valuation of the future plays in stimulating cooperation.

By the end of the programme, students will be able to understand how government policy stimulates market interactions, how financial markets operate, what determines growth of prosperity and the role of central banks.  Participants will become familiar with game theory and its application for international trade, competition policy, and issues related to public goods. Participants, upon completion of the course, will be able to engage in debates on economic policy and its implications.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • Afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, case-studies, and city excursions).
  • On Fridays, participants will conduct independent research.

Credit Transfer

As a summer programme student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the University of Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at


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Get in touch with us at or call +31 (0)20 525 3776.

Economics and Game Theory
Mode Short-term
Credits 6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Open
Starts in June