Economic Theory

Microeconomic theory develops mathematical models for understanding the behavior of individuals, small groups, and firms in allocating scarce resources and, if necessary, regulation of this behavior to the benefit of society. Our theory faculty has diverse research interests that include the following sub-fields:

  • Altruism, Reciprocity, and Public Good Provision: Modeling why people give to others and charity.
  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory: Analyzing individual decision-making in various environments by incorporating behavioral biases and other psychological factors.
  • Competitive Strategy and Industrial Organization: Studying firms’ strategies in monopolistic and oligopolistic markets and identifying their anti-competitive consequences.
  • Game Theory: Developing mathematical tools to analyze strategic decision-making and interactions in a wide array of contexts.
  • Information Economics: Examining how the production, allocation, transmission, and manipulation of information impacts economic decisions and activities.
  • Mechanism and Market Design: Designing real-world markets and institutions to efficiently allocate scarce resources via auctions and matching algorithms.
  • Networks and Informal Economies: Studying social interactions and communication using the tools of network science.
  • Voting and Collective Choice: Analyzing voter behavior in elections and committees.
  Faculty Member Mentorship Areas
Atila Abdulkadiroglu headshot

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Garonzik Family Distinguished Professor

Atila’s research focuses on mechanism design, market design and economics of education. His research has led to the design and implementation of better admissions policies in school choice programs in the US, including Boston and New York City.

  • Mechanism and Market Design
Headshot of Attila Ambrus

Attila Ambrus, Professor of Economics

Professor Ambrus’ research focuses on a broad range of subjects including game theory, experimental economics, microeconomic theory, industrial organization, political economics, development economics and economic history.

  • Altruism, Reciprocity, and Public Good Provision
  • Competitive Strategy and Industrial Organization
  • Game Theory
  • Networks and Informal Economies
Headshot of Arjada Bardhi

Arjada Bardhi, Assistant Professor of Economics

Professor Bardhi's research interests lie in microeconomic theory and political economy. 

  • Game Theory
  • Information Economics
  • Voting and Collective Choice
Headshot of Rachel Kranton

Rachel Kranton, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Economics

Professor Kranton studies how institutions and the social setting affect economic outcomes.

  • Altruism, Reciprocity, and Public Good Provision
  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory
  • Networks and Informal Economies
Headshot of Tracy Lewis

Tracy LewisWalter M. Upchurch, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Business Administration

Professor Lewis’ current areas of research and expertise include antitrust regulation, environmental and natural resource economics, industrial organization, innovation and intellectual property protection.

  • Competitive Strategy and Industrial Organization
  • Information Economics
Headshot of David McAdams

David McAdams, Professor of Business Administration

Professor McAdams' primary research interests are microeconomic theory and game theory, with a special focus on strategic interactions between buyers and sellers, including auctions, pricing, negotiations, and relationships.

  • Game Theory
  • Mechanism and Market Design
  • Networks and Informal Economies
Headshot of Philipp Sadowski

Philipp Sadowski, Associate Professor of Economics

Professor Sadowski's work focuses on microeconomic theory, decision theory and behavioral economics.

  • Altruism, Reciprocity, and Public Good Provision
  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory
Headshot of Todd Sarver

Todd SarverProfessor of Economics

Professor Sarver’s research focuses on microeconomic theory, decision theory, and behavioral economics.

  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Theory
  • Game Theory
Headshot of Curtis Taylor

Curtis TaylorProfessor of Economics

Professor Taylor's primary research interest is microeconomic theory with emphasis on the areas of Industrial Organization, Political Economy, and the Theory of Contracts.

  • Competitive Strategy and Industrial Organization
  • Game Theory
  • Information Economics
  • Voting and Collective Choice
Headshot of Huseyin Yildirim

Huseyin Yildirim, Professor of Economics

Professor Yildirim's recent research concerns charitable giving, sequencing of bilateral negotiations, and the value of (non-)blind review.

  • Altruism, Reciprocity, and Public Good Provision
  • Competitive Strategy and Industrial Organization
  • Information Economics
  • Voting and Collective Choice