Reinhard Selten


Reinhard Selten

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Reinhard Selten
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1994

Born: 5 October 1930, Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland)

Died: 23 August 2016, Poznan, Poland

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany

Prize motivation: “for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games”

Prize share: 1/3


Reinhard Selten was a German economist born in Breslau, now a part of Poland. Due to the war the family moved around during his childhood and then settled in Hesse where Selten attended high school. He studied mathematics at Goethe University and worked as a scientific assistant to Heinz Sauermann. Later he was a professor at the University of Bonn. He was active in the Esperanto movement, through which he met his wife.


Reinhard Selten received the Economic Sciences Prize for his work in game theory, along with his co recipients John F. Nash Jr and John C. Harsanyi. He refined the Nash equilibrium concept for analysing dynamic strategic interaction by getting rid of unlikely equilibria. He also applied the refined concept to analyses of oligopolistic competition. He is also well known for his work in bounded rationality. He also built the BonnEconLab at the University of Bonn.

To cite this section
MLA style: Reinhard Selten – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Thu. 13 Jun 2024. <>

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