Department of Economics

Economic Theory

Our group aims to join together staff with research interests in Economic Theory, including both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics.

Research focus

The main focus of our Economic Theory research group is Game theory – both theoretical and applied. We also have an interest in these topics:

  • auctions and procurement mechanisms
  • electoral competition and voting
  • development economics and the design of international aid programmes
  • general equilibrium models with behavioural agents

We publish our work in top journals such as:

  • Journal of Economic Theory
  • Games and Economic Behavior
  • Journal of Development Economics.

Our members present their work at prestigious conferences and seminars worldwide. Some of these include:

  • World Congress of the Econometric Society
  • Society of Social Choice and Welfare
  • Public Choice Society
  • Association of Public Economic Theory
  • Royal Economic Society
  • Meeting of the American Economic Association
  • Econometric Society Meeting
  • Conference of the European Economic Association.

As part of our activities, we organise internal meetings and workshops to support research, by sharing findings and results with high-profile academic visitors and policy-makers.

Our members are keen to foster links with other departments and research clusters across the University. We also work closely with the Centre for Networks and Collective Behaviour (CNCB).

Research staff

Dr Elnaz Bajoori has been working on the refinement concept of (trembling hand) perfect equilibrium in normal form games with compact action spaces. In such games, a definition for perfect equilibrium based on the finite approximations of the action spaces is desired such that it gives same equilibria derived from original definition of perfect equilibrium. This problem becomes even more important when one would like to prove the existence of perfect equilibrium in games with discontinuous payoffs. Moreover, Elnaz has been working on the extension of the refinement of perfect equilibrium to Bayesian games (games with incomplete information) where players have infinite action and type spaces. She applies her results to one of the important economic models, i.e. second-price auctions with interdependent values. In such auctions, there are many undominated equilibria, also there is no dominant strategy. Therefore, the extension of perfect equilibrium in Bayesian games can be used as a selection criterion to distinguish between these equilibria. She has presented her research papers in different conferences and workshops, mainly Game Theory Society conferences. She has visited the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago (three months), the University of Birmingham (four months), the University of Exeter (one week), and the University of Manchester (three days).

Dr Nikos Kokonas works in macroeconomics and general equilibrium. He is interested in general equilibrium models with behavioural assumptions on preferences, in overlapping generation economies and in macroeconomic models with unemployment.

Dr Ajit Mishra works on issues related to collusion in various agency settings. Other interests include the axiomatic foundations of measurement of vulnerability and multidimensional poverty.

Dr Asgerdur Petursdottir conducts research in the area of macroeconomics and monetary economics. Currently her research focuses on money and finance related issues such as monetary policy, macroprudential measures, housing markets and credit conditions. Asgerdur’s focus has been on frictional markets and she uses a search-theoretic approach when conducting her research. Her recent work has made a theoretical contribution to the advancement of the study of housing and financial markets in a search-theoretic monetary framework.

Dr Peter Postl works in applied mechanism design, and is especially interested in mechanism design techniques for environments without side-payments, such as voting rules and arbitration procedures. Other interests include auctions and procurement mechanisms, models of public good provision, as well as matching mechanisms. Peter has published in highly respected economic theory journals (such as the Journal of Economic Theory, and Economic Theory), and has presented his work at seminars and conferences both nationally and internationally (e.g. at Brown University (Providence, USA), Emory University (Atlanta, USA), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Indian Statistical Institute (Delhi), ETH Z├╝rich). Peter has also contributed to a consultancy project on auction design for the sale of telecommunications spectrum.

Dr Javier Rivas conducts his research in the area of game theory with special interest in political economy (understanding the incentives to truthfully share information in decision committees), public economics (studying the incentives of politicians to do what is best for their constituency) and evolutionary game theory (examining when selfish behaviour is inferior to altruistic behaviour in anonymous interactions). He has published in top academic journals such as Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control and Journal of Mathematical Economics. Dr Rivas has been invited to present his research at internationally recognized institutions such as the University of Wisconsin Madison, the Universidad Carlos III and the University of Manchester among others, and he is currently one of the editors of The BE Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Dr Maik T. Schneider conducts research on Economic Growth and Political Economy. Maik is interested in economic policy fostering long-run welfare and how economic policy is shaped in the political process. His research comprises work on the role of basic research policy and intellectual property rights for economic growth and welfare, the growth and welfare implications of ageing societies, lobbying, and the effects of (partial) commitment to campaign promises on election outcomes and policy.

Dr Kei Tsutsui works in the field of experimental economics. His research topics focus on social choice, bargaining, choice under uncertainty and the evolution of social conventions.

Dr Tobias Wenzel (group leader) conducts research in the area of Applied Microeconomics and Industrial Economics.  His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Industrial Economics, International Journal of Industrial Organisation and Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation. Tobias current research focuses on competition and regulation in markets where consumers make imperfect decisions are and can be exploited by firms.

Dr Paolo Zeppini works at the interface of economic theory, environmental economics and innovation studies. He is mainly interested in the impact of technological change on environmental problems, the interplay between human behaviour and ecological systems, and the economics and policy analysis of sustainable transitions. He develops simple tractable models of human behaviour with heterogeneous agents, social interactions and multiple equilibria, using a multidisciplinary approach that builds on game theory, network theory, statistical mechanics and evolutionary thinking.

Dr Robertas Zubrickas applies methods of mechanism design and contract theory to incentive problems in public, behavioural, development, and organisational economics. He has made contributions on preference formation, performance evaluation, public good provision, and remittance behaviour. His recent work also contains model testing done in collaboration with empirical economists.