David McAdams

David McAdams

Professor of Economics

External Address: 
Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90120, Durham, NC 27708-0120
(919) 660-7926

David McAdams is Professor of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He is also Professor of Economics in the Economics Department at Duke. He earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University, an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Business from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before joining the faculty at Duke, he was Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has also worked as Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission.

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. His work has been published in the leading journals of economics, including Econometrica, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Theory, and Journal of Econometrics. Currently, he is an associate editor of Journal of Economic Literature, International Journal of Industrial Organization, and International Journal of Game Theory.

Professor McAdams is author of "Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations" (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Professor McAdams teaches the economics elective "Game Theory for Strategic Advantage" in the Daytime MBA program at Fuqua, as well as the PhD elective "Market Design I: Auctions" in the Economics Department.

Professor McAdams' consulting work focuses on two areas: (i) “market design / bidding strategy consulting” for those designing or participating in an auction market (e.g. FCC spectrum auctions, electricity procurement auctions, B2B exchanges); and (ii) “game-theory consulting” for firms (from startup to Fortune 50) facing mission-critical strategic challenges or opportunities.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University 2001
  • M.S., Stanford University 2001
  • B.S., Harvard University 1996

Årdal, Christine, Manica Balasegaram, Ramanan Laxminarayan, David McAdams, Kevin Outterson, John H. Rex, and Nithima Sumpradit. “Antibiotic development - economic, regulatory and societal challenges.Nature Reviews. Microbiology 18, no. 5 (May 2020): 267–74. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-019-0293-3. Full Text

McAdams, David, Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft, Christine Tedijanto, Marc Lipsitch, and Sam P. Brown. “Resistance diagnostics as a public health tool to combat antibiotic resistance: A model-based evaluation.Plos Biology 17, no. 5 (May 16, 2019): e3000250. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000250. Full Text

Hortaçsu, A., and D. McAdams. “Empirical work on auctions of multiple objects.” Journal of Economic Literature 56, no. 1 (March 1, 2018): 157–84. https://doi.org/10.1257/jel.20160961. Full Text

Galik, C. S., and D. McAdams. “Supply, Demand, and Uncertainty: Implications for Prelisting Conservation Policy.” Ecological Economics 137 (July 1, 2017): 91–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.03.009. Full Text

Turner, Katy Me, Hannah Christensen, Elisabeth J. Adams, David McAdams, Helen Fifer, Anthony McDonnell, and Neil Woodford. “Analysis of the potential for point-of-care test to enable individualised treatment of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant and susceptible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a modelling study.Bmj Open 7, no. 6 (June 14, 2017): e015447. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015447. Full Text

McAdams, David. “Resistance diagnosis and the changing economics of antibiotic discovery.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1388, no. 1 (January 10, 2017): 18–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13303. Full Text

McAdams, David. “Resistance diagnosis and the changing epidemiology of antibiotic resistance.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1388, no. 1 (January 2017): 5–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13300. Full Text

McAdams, D. “On the benefits of dynamic bidding when participation is costly.” Journal of Economic Theory 157 (January 1, 2015): 959–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jet.2015.03.003. Full Text

Hu, Y., D. McAdams, and M. Shum. “Identification of first-price auctions with non-separable unobserved heterogeneity.” Journal of Econometrics 174, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 186–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeconom.2013.02.005. Full Text

McAdams, D. “Strategic ignorance in a second-price auction.” Economics Letters 114, no. 1 (January 1, 2012): 83–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2011.09.036. Full Text