The Economists´ Quartet

A Game, not a Theory

by Sandra Gruescu and Niels Peter Thomas

The deck of cards

For a quick look, see the cards below. If you want to play the game, you will need to download the cards as a pdf-file in better quality. Depending on your Internet connection, it may take a minute to download, as the file´s size is about 1.3 MB. For best results, please print the cards on thick white paper (see section 1 for details).

Game Theory Economists

Oskar MorgensternJohn von NeumannJohn F. NashReinhard Selten


Adam SmithMarquis de CondorcetJane MarcetDavid Ricardo


Karl MarxThorstein VeblenRosa LuxemburgJoan Robinson

Institutional Economics

Ronald CoaseArmen AlchianHerbert SimonDouglas North

Ethical Economics

AristotleJohn HarsanyiAmartya SenPeter Ulrich

Keynes and Co.

John M. KeynesAlvin HansenPierro SraffaJohn Hicks

Growth Theory

Thomas MalthusRobert SolowPhilippe AghionSandra Gruescu

Public Choice

James BuchananKenneth ArrowDennis MuellerNiels Peter Thomas

And last but not least: The Genius resp. The Joker

Paul Samuelson

The following data was used as the basis for this version of the cards: For calculating the Marginal Rate of Reference we took the Social Science Citation Index, which is provided by the Institute for Scientific Information, Pennsylvania ( The marginal unit of time for this version is the last week of November 2001 (19. to 25. of November 2001). Basis for the Public Perception Indicator is the number of internet hits provided by the search engine on November 25th, 2001. The Potential Productivity of the economists was calculated with the estimated remaining lifetime provided by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (see Federal Statistical Office 2000, p.74).
To find out more about the cards, why we have chosen these economists or why they have a certain amount of points, check out the paper.