Peter Cramton


Professor Peter Cramton
Economics Department
University of Cologne
Universitätsstr. 22a
50923 Cologne, Germany

+1 240 479 9345

Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland. Since 1983, he has conducted research on auction theory and practice. This research appears in leading economics journals. The focus is the design of auction-based markets. Applications include communications, electricity, and financial markets. On the practical side, he is an independent director on the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and an advisor and chief economist to several companies. Since 1993, he has advised 13 governments and 41 bidders in spectrum auctions. He is a co-inventor of the spectrum auction design used in Canada, Australia, and many European countries to auction spectrum. Since 2001, he has played a lead role in the design and implementation of electricity and gas auctions in North America, South America, and Europe. He has advised on the design of carbon auctions in Europe, Australia, and the United Sates, including conducting the world’s first greenhouse-gas auction held in the UK in 2002. He has led the development of innovative auctions in new applications, such as auctions for airport slots, wind rights, diamonds, medical equipment, and Internet top-level domains. He received his B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Business from Stanford University in 1984.

Academic Positions

Professor of Economics—Department of Economics, University of Cologne, January 2018 to present.

Professor of Economics—Department of Economics, University of Maryland, August 1996 to present.

International Faculty—Department of Economics, University of Cologne, July 2015 to December 2017.

Professor of Economics—Department of Economics, European University Institute, September 2015 to August 2017.

Faculty Affiliate, Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, 2008 to present.

Associate Professor of Economics—Department of Economics, University of Maryland, August 1993 to June 1996.

National Fellow—Hoover Institution, Stanford University, September 1992 to August 1993.

Associate Professor of Economics and Management—Yale School of Management, Yale University, July 1988 to August 1993.

Assistant Professor of Decision Theory—Yale School of Management, Yale University, July 1984 to June 1988.


Stanford University, Doctor of Philosophy, June 1984, Graduate School of Business.
Dissertation: The Role of Time and Information in Bargaining.

Cornell University, Bachelor of Science with distinction, May 1980, School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering. Graduated first in class.

Courses Taught

Advanced Microeconomics. Doctoral course in the foundations of game theory.

Game Theory. Undergraduate introduction to modern game theory.

Market Design. An advanced undergraduate course on auction and market design.

Methods and Tools of Economic Analysis. Undergraduate introduction to the mathematical tools used in economics.

Microeconomic Analysis I. Doctoral core course in microeconomic theory.

Intermediate Microeconomics.

Negotiation and Competitive Decisions. Developed for management program.

Economic Analysis. Taught in management program.

Quantitative Analysis for Management Decisions. Taught in management program.

Theory of Choice II: Game Theory. Doctoral course in game theory with emphasis on information and dynamics.

Research Interests

Auction theory and practice, bargaining theory, dispute resolution, incentives, contract theory, game theory, decision theory, labor economics, industrial organization, experimental economics, information economics, and law and economics.


Winner of the Utah Winter Finance Conference Best Paper Award, 2015.

Winner of the AQR Insight Award for most insightful unpublished paper in finance, 2014.

Distinguished Service Award, American Association for Homecare, 2012.

Resident Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation, Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy, Spring 2007.

Departmental Undergraduate Teaching Award, Spring 1996 (2), Spring 1997 and Spring 2002.

Departmental Graduate Teaching Award, Fall 1994, Fall 1998, and Fall 2007.

Hoover National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1992-93.

Winner of the 1984 Leonard J. Savage Thesis Award for an outstanding dissertation in Bayesian Economics.

American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business Doctoral Fellowship, 1983-84.

National Association of Purchasing Management Scholarship, 1983-84.

Dean’s Award for Service to Stanford University, 1983-84.

Two-time recipient of Stanford Merit Fellowship, 1981-83.

Elected by the Operations Research faculty as outstanding senior, 1980.


Econometric Society, American Economic Association, Society for Economic Analysis, and Society for the Promotion of Economic Theory.


Please see Papers.

Research Grants

“Testbed Experiments for CRP Auction Design,” US Department of Agriculture, September 2013 to September 2018, $191,000.

“Design and Experimental Testing of Land Use Mechanisms: Auctions and Coexistence,” US Department of Agriculture, June 2015 to September 2017, $52,000.

“Common Value Auctions with Liquidity Needs,” National Science Foundation, September 2009 to August 2013, $400,000.

“Dynamic Matching Mechanisms,” National Science Foundation, August 2005 to July 2008, $264,188.

“Slot Auctions for U.S. Airports,” Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, September 2004 to August 2005, $309,729.

“Rapid Response Electronic Markets for Time-Sensitive Goods,” National Science Foundation, July 2002 to June 2005, $2,000,000.

“Multiple-Item Auctions,” National Science Foundation, July 2001 to June 2004, $313,872.

“Auctions for Multiple Items,” National Science Foundation, April 1998 to March 2001, $318,175.

“Auctions and Infrastructure Conference,” National Science Foundation, April 1998 to March 1999, $25,000.

“Auctions and Infrastructure,” World Bank, March-June 1998, $25,000.

“Applying Strategic Bargaining Models to Union Contract Negotiations,” National Science Foundation, April 1995 to March 1998, $143,637.

“Applying Strategic Bargaining Models to Union Contract Negotiations,” National Science Foundation, April 1992 to March 1994, $177,760.

“Strikes and Delays in Wage Bargaining: Theory and Data,” National Science Foundation, April 1990 to March 1992, $153,407.

“Gaming Exercises in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution,” National Institute of Dispute Resolution, July to August 1988, $6,000.

“The Role of Time and Information in Bargaining,” National Science Foundation, July 1986 to June 1988, $40,000.

“Public Sector Cases on Negotiation,” Mellon Foundation, July to August 1985, $12,000.

Editorial and Public Service

Management Science, Associate Editor, 2018-present.

Journal of Industrial Economics, Associate Editor, 1998-2007.

Member, RTO Futures (a working group of economists, executives, and government leaders to address critical issues in electricity restructuring), 2000-2007.

Panelist, National Science Foundation, Economics, 1999-2002.

Panelist, National Science Foundation, Electricity Power System Efficiency and Security, 2002.

Program Committee Chair, North American Econometric Society Summer Meetings, June 21-24, 2001.

Panelist, National Science Foundation, Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence, 1998.

Referee for

American Economic Review, American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, Econometrica, Economic Inquiry, Economic J, Economic Letters, Economic Theory, Energy J, Games & Economic Behavior, Group Decision & Negotiation, International Economic Review, Interna­tional J of Game Theory, J of Business, J of Business & Economic Statistics, J of Conflict Resolution, J of Economic Theory, J of Economic Surveys, J of Economics & Management Strategy, J of Industrial Economics, J of Labor Econom­ics, J of Law and Economics, J of Law, Economics & Organization, J of Political Economy, J of Public Economics, J of Regulatory Economics, Labour Economics, Management Science, Mathematical Social Sciences, Marketing Science, MIT Press, National Institute for Dispute Resolution, National Science Foundation, Omega, Operations Research, OPSEARCH, Quarterly J of Econom­ics, Rand J of Economics, Research in Experimental Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Scandinavian J of Economics, Science, Social Choice & Welfare, Southern Economic J.

Recent PhD Committees Chaired (Initial Placement)

Hector Lopez, June 2016 (Rivada Networks)
Pacharasut Sujarittanonta, July 2010 (Morgan State University)
Nathaniel Higgins, December 2009 (USDA Economic Research Service)
Matias Herrera Dappe, May 2009 (Bates White)
Andrew Stocking, August 2009 (Congressional Budget Office)
Dipan Ghosh, May 2008 (CRA International)
Martin Ranger, May 2005 (Indiana University)
Jeffrey Lien, August 2001 (US Department of Justice)
Allan Ingraham, May 2001 (Criterion Auctions)
Jesse Schwartz, August 1999 (Vanderbilt University)
Laurent Martin, July 1999 (University of Washington)

Expert Reports, Affidavits, and Testimony

Please see Filings.

Entrepreneurship and Consulting

Please see Entrepreneurship.


Born on 12 November 1957

Married to Catherine Durnell Cramton