John von Neumann documentary

By Paul Walker 12/04/2015

From the Mathematical Association of America comes this video of a 1966 documentary on John von Neumann.

While a mathematician and physicist von Neumann made three fundamental contributions to economics

The first is a 1928 paper written in German that established von Neumann as the father of game theory. The second is a 1937 paper, translated in 1945, that laid out a mathematical model of an expanding economy and raised the level of mathematical sophistication in economics considerably. The third is a book coauthored with his Princeton colleague, economist Oskar Morgenstern, titled Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, after Morgenstern convinced von Neumann that game theory could be applied to economics.


  • 1928 “Zur Theorie der Gesellschaftsspiele”, Mathematische Annalen 100 (1): 295–320. English translation: “On the Theory of Games of Strategy,” in A. W. Tucker and R. D. Luce, ed. (1959), Contributions to the Theory of Games, v. 4, p. 42. Princeton University Press.
  • 1944 (with Oskar Morgenstern). Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • 1945–1946. “A Model of General Equilibrium.” Review of Economic Studies 13: 1–9.