Reinhard Selten Biography
Birthday: October 5, 1930 (Libra)
Born In: Wrocław, Poland
Reinhard Selten is a German economist who won a share of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Known for his work in bounded rationality, he played a major role in the development of game theory. He also built the Laboratory for Experimental Economics (BonnEconLab) at the University of Bonn and is often referred to as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics. Born in Breslau (Wrocław) in Germany (now in Poland) in 1930, he grew up during a highly tumultuous period in European history. Partly of Jewish origin, he endured a tough childhood and teenage, living under the Hitler regime. However, unlike many of his relatives who perished in the holocaust, he was able to survive the World War II and proceeded to rebuild his life. He studied mathematics at the University of Frankfurt and worked as scientific assistant to Heinz Sauermann for a few years. Having a deep interest in game theory, he refined the important economic concept of the Nash equilibrium, which had been proposed by the prominent mathematician John Nash. Working on the concept, Selten developed the “subgame perfect equilibrium” and discussed his theory with economist John Harsanyi. The collective works of Nash, Selten, and Harsanyi won the trio the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.