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The Unawareness Bibliography

The Unawareness Project

Facing Unknown Unknowns


Almost any decision is taken in the face of uncertainty. Uncertainty takes various forms. We got a number of theories of decision making in the face of known unknowns: All outcomes are known but we lack information about which outcome occurs. However, we miss a tractable but general theory of decision making in the face of unknown unknowns, when we lack comprehension or even lack conception of the situation. We take our biggest decisions in the face of unknown unknowns. It applies to personal decision like what to study, whom to marry, or which profession to enter. It holds for corporate decisions like which business project to pursue or markets to enter, as well as for political decision on institutions and laws. Obviously, it also holds for decisions of mankind on how to deal with existential risks and opportunities.


The Unawareness Project is devoted to research on theories of unknown unknowns and its applications. We develop and study

Recent Research

Efficient Mechanisms under Unawareness (Kym Pram and Burkhard C. Schipper)

Predicting the Unpredictable under Subjective Expected Utility (Burkhard C. Schipper)

Interactive Awareness of Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), Video of plenary talk at TARK 2021

Rationalizable Screening and Disclosure under Unawareness (Alejandro Francetich and Burkhard C. Schipper), Slides

Discovery and Equilibrium in Games with Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), Journal of Economic Theory 198 (2021), 105365.

Value-Capture in the Face of Known and Unknown Unknowns (Kevin Bryan, Michael Ryall, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Strategy Science, accepted. Slides, Preprint

Prudent Rationalizability in Generalized Extensive-Form Games with Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics 21 (Special Issue on Unawareness) (2021), 525-556. Preprint


The Unawareness Project brings together researchers on unawareness through mini workshops. Get in touch if you want to join future mini workshops.

Mini-Workshops

Zoom Mini-Workshop on New Developments in Epistemic Logic with Unawareness, December 2, 2022

Zoom Mini-Workshop on Decision Theory with Unawareness, June 3, 2022

Zoom Mini-Workshop on Financial Markets with Unawareness, May 21, 2021

Zoom Mini-Workshop on Contract Theory with Unawareness, April 23, 2021


The Unawareness Project promotes a new generation of social scientists who are formally trained in theories of unawareness through mini graduate courses on unawareness (e.g. Epicenter Summer School, Maastricht, 2015, Lake Como Summer School on Logic, Uncertainty, and Games, 2018). Get in touch if you want me to teach in your program.

I am always looking for bright PhD students and collaborators to get involved. Potential PhD students need to apply to our economics PhD program at UC Davis, survive a competitive selection process as well as our demanding graduate course work. I am also affiliated with the Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics at UC Davis.

Resent visitors: Gaia Belardinelli, Visiting PhD student from the Center for Bubble Studies, University of Copenhagen, March - June, 2022


The Unawareness Project encourages people to get involved. You can get involved by familiarizing yourself with research on unawareness, participating in our mini-workshops, collaborate on research, or donate to The Unawareness Project.


A Reader on Unawareness

Belief, Awareness, and Limited Reasoning (Ron Fagin and Joe Halpern), Artificial Intelligence 34 (1988), 39-76.

Interactive Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Journal of Economic Theory 130 (2006), 78-94. Preprint

Awareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Handbook of Epistemic Logic, Chapter 3, H. van Ditmarsch, J.Y. Halpern, W. van der Hoek and B. Kooi (Eds.), College Publications, London, 2015, 77–146.

Dynamic Unawareness and Rationalizable Behavior (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Games and Economic Behavior 81 (2013), 50-68. Preprint

Further Reading: The Unawareness Bibliography


The Unawareness Project is an initiative by Burkhard C. Schipper, professor of economics and an affiliated faculty member at the Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Davis. He studied economics at the University of Bonn and Tel Aviv University, receiving a PhD from the University of Bonn in 2003. His research focuses on inventing mathematical tools for modeling of unawareness in game theory and decision theory and its application to economics, finance and politics. He also studies human behavior through experiments. 

We are grateful for support from the Army Research Office through Contract W911NF2210282 for part of the research of The Unawareness Project.


All Research and Writings of the The Unawareness Project

Efficient Mechanism under Unawareness (Kym Pram and Burkhard C. Schipper)

Predicting the Unpredictable under Subjective Expected Utility (Burkhard C. Schipper)

Interactive Awareness of Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), Video of plenary talk at TARK 2021

Rationalizable Screening and Disclosure under Unawareness (Alejandro Francetich and Burkhard C. Schipper), Slides

Insiders Trading on Unknown Unknowns (Burkhard C. Schipper and Hang Zhou), Slides

Network Formation in a Society with Fragmented Knowledge and Awareness (Burkhard C. Schipper)

Disclosure under Unawareness: An Experiment (Yingxue Li and Burkhard C. Schipper)

Kuhn's Theorem for Extensive Games with Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper)

Conditional Dominance in Dynamic Games with Unawareness (Martin Meier and Burkhard C. Schipper)

Discovery and Equilibrium in Games with Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), Journal of Economic Theory 198 (2021), 105365.

Value-Capture in the Face of Known and Unknown Unknowns (Kevin Bryan, Michael Ryall, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Strategy Science, accepted. Slides, Preprint

Prudent Rationalizability in Generalized Extensive-Form Games with Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics 21 (Special Issue on Unawareness) (2021), 525-556. Preprint

Introduction to the Special Issue on Unawareness, B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics 21 (2021), 355-360.

Political Awareness, Microtargeting of Voters and Negative Electoral Campaigning (Burkhard C. Schipper and Hee Yeul Woo), Quarterly Journal of Political Science 14 (2019), 41-88. Preprint

Does Exposure to Unawareness Affect Risk Preferences? A Preliminary Result (Wenjun Ma and Burkhard C. Schipper), Theory and Decision 83 (2017), 245–257. Preprint, Stata Do-file/Data

Self-Confirming Games: Unawareness, Discovery, and Equilibrium (Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, Proceedings of the Sixteens Conference (TARK 2017), Jerome Lang (Ed.), Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 251, 470–488.

Awareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Handbook of Epistemic Logic, Chapter 3, H. van Ditmarsch, J.Y. Halpern, W. van der Hoek and B. Kooi (Eds.), College Publications, London, 2015, 77–146.

Speculative Trade under Unawareness - The Infinite Case (Martin Meier and Burkhard C. Schipper), Economic Theory Bulletin 2 (2014), 147-160. Preprint

Unawareness - A Gentle Introduction to both the Literature and the Special Issue (Burkhard C. Schipper), Mathematical Social Sciences 70 (2014), 1-9. Preprint

Preference-Based Unawareness (Burkhard C. Schipper), Mathematical Social Sciences 70 (2014), 34-41. Preprint

Bayesian Games with Unawareness and Unawareness Perfection (Martin Meier and Burkhard C. Schipper), Economic Theory 56 (2014), 219-249. Preprint

Dynamic Unawareness and Rationalizable Behavior (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Games and Economic Behavior 81 (2013), 50-68. Preprint

Unawareness, Beliefs, and Speculative Trade (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Games and Economic Behavior 77 (2013), 100-121. Prior version with the universal type space

Awareness-Dependent Subjective Expected Utility (Burkhard C. Schipper), International Journal of Game Theory 42 (2013), 725-753. Preprint

Two Models of Unawareness: Comparing the Object-Based and Subjective-State-Space Approaches (Oliver Board, Kim-Sau Chung, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Synthese 179 (2011), 13-34. Preprint

A Canonical Model for Interactive Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Games and Economic Behavior 62 (2008), 305-324. Preprint

A Canonical Model for Interactive Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, Proceedings of the 11th Conference (TARK 2007), Dov Samet (Ed.), Presses Universitaires De Louvain, 177-182.

Unawareness, Beliefs and Games (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, Proceedings of the 11th Conference (TARK 2007), Dov Samet (Ed.), Presses Universitaires De Louvain, 183-192.

Interactive Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), Journal of Economic Theory 130 (2006), 78-94. Preprint

Multi-Person Unawareness (Aviad Heifetz, Martin Meier, and Burkhard C. Schipper), in: Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, Proceedings of the Ninth Conference (TARK 2003), Moshe Tennenholtz (Ed.), ACM, 145-158.