Thomas Schelling
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Tim Harford: Thomas Schelling's nuclear deterrent role

30 January 2013 Last updated at 09:13 GMT

Tim Harford's new Radio 4 series Pop-Up Economics tells stories about fascinating people and ideas in economics.

The economist returns to a store in London's Regent Street to tell an audience the story of Thomas Schelling, an economist who helped America and the Soviet Union to avoid nuclear war.

Here, we hear how Schelling applied the simple concepts of John von Neumann's game theory to help form the US's nuclear deterrent strategy during the cold war.

In 2005 the Nobel Prize committee said his insights, "proved of great relevance for conflict resolution and efforts to avoid war".

Pop-Up Economics is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesdays at 8.45pm from 16th Jan to 13th Feb.

You can listen again online by downloading the podcast.