Pierpaolo Battigalli

I am a Professor of Microeconomic Theory and Game Theory, and (Co)Editor of the J. Econ. Theory. I obtained a first degree (“Laurea”) in Economics and Social Sciences at Bocconi University in 1987 and a PhD in the joint Economics program of Bocconi University, State University of Milan, and Catholic University of Milan in 1992. I worked at Princeton University and the European University Institute before joining Bocconi, where I served as Director of the PhD program in Economics, Dean of the PhD School, and Head of the Department of Decision Sciences.
I am a Fellow of the Econometric Society and Game Theory Society, Economic Theory Fellow, and “Socio Corrispondente” of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

My work focuses on the decision theoretic, epistemic, psychological, and learning foundations of game theory.

Full Professor
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Research interests

Since the inception of my original research in my first-degree thesis, I have always been interested in abstract and applied models of interactive behavior. I adopt and improve on the mathematical language of game theory to put forward and analyze solutions and equilibrium concepts justified by an epistemic or learning foundation, such as different versions of rationalizability and self-confirming (conjectural) equilibrium. I innovate the traditional game theoretic framework in different but related ways. For example, I allow for several forms of belief-dependent utility to incorporate psychological aspects in game theory. This requires to re-think how situations of strategic interactions (games) are represented with a formal mathematical language, because aspects that are neglected in the traditional approach become relevant (e.g. the information of inactive players), and equivalences that were taken for granted are not necessarily valid. Although I lean on the more conceptual aspects of theory, I also do some applied theory and theory-driven experiments.

Selected Publications

I teach game theory to graduate (MSc) students and PhD students. I have also been teaching advanced undergraduate microeconomics, and experimental economics and psychology.

My teaching principles are that I want to make my students master the mathematical language necessary to attain a rigorous understanding of theory, and I want them to adopt a critical attitude toward the received theory. I teach standard concepts because they are necessary to understand how game theory is applied in economics and other social sciences. But I also question their justifications and teach non-standard concepts for which I can provide rigorous justifications. To the best of my knowledge, some of these concepts (such as self-confirming equilibrium and rationalizability in sequential games and in games with incomplete information) are not explained in any published textbook. They are instead explained in the textbook I am completing, which I use in my courses.