Thomas C. Schelling, an economist and Nobel laureate whose interest in game theory led him to write important works on nuclear strategy and to use the concept of the tipping point to explain social problems, including white flight from urban neighborhoods, died on Tuesday at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 95.
The death was confirmed by Richard Zeckhauser, a former student and colleague.
It was while working as an economist in the Truman administration that Professor Schelling became intrigued by the stratagems and negotiating ploys that he observed in international bargaining. In particular, as the Cold War developed, he became fascinated with the complexities of nuclear strategy, then in its infancy and a source of worldwide anxiety.
After spending a year studying nuclear weapons at the RAND Corporation in 1958 and writing “The Strategy of Conflict” (1960), he took his place as a leading theorist of nuclear war and peace along with the RAND intellectuals Herman Kahn and Albert Wohlstetter, as well as Henry A. Kissinger, the director of the Defense Studies Center at Harvard.