Nabil Al-Najjar
Nabil Al-Najjar

John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Print Overview
Research Page

Nabil Al-Najjar is a Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences and chair of the MEDS department. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Mathematical Economics and the International Journal of Game Theory.

Al-Najjar’s research focuses on the development of learning-based models of decision making in markets, games and contracts. His papers have been published in top scholarly journals such the Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior, and the RAND Journal of Economics, among others.

For his excellence in teaching, Al-Najjar has twice been the recipient of the school’s Sidney J. Levy Award, in 1996-97 for his class in microeconomics, and 2006-07 for his class in competitive strategy. He has received the Chairs’ Core Teaching Award for his class in microeconomics.

Al-Najjar received his PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the Kellogg faculty in 1995, he was a faculty member at the University of Québec in Montreal.

Areas of Expertise
Behavioral Economics
Game Theory
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Print Vita
PhD, 1989, Economics, University of Minnesota
MA, 1982, Economics, University of Ottawa
BA, 1979, Economics, Al-Mustansiriah University

Editorial Positions
Editorial Board, Journal of Mathematical Economics, 1995-2010

Print Research
Research Interests
Decision theory, learning, game theory

Sandroni, AlvaroNabil Al-Najjar and Luciano Pomatto. Forthcoming. Merging and Testing Opinions. Annals of Statistics.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Jonathan Lewis Weinstein. Forthcoming. A Bayesian Model of Knightian Uncertainty. Theory and Decision.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Luciano de Castro. 2014. Parametric Representation of Preferences. Journal of Economic Theory. 150: 642-67-86.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Mallesh M. Pai. 2014. Coarse Decision-Making and Overfitting. Journal of Economic Theory. 150: 467-486.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2013. A Bayesian Framework for Precautionary Policies. Journal of Legal Studies.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Alvaro Sandroni. 2013. A Difficulty in the Testing of Strategic Experts. Mathematical Social Sciences. 65(1): 5-9.
Al-Najjar, NabilAlvaro Sandroni, Rann Smorodinsky and Jonathan Lewis Weinstein. 2010. Testing Theories with Learnable and Predictive Representations. Journal of Economic Theory. 145(6): 2203–2217.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Jonathan Lewis Weinstein. 2009. The Ambiguity Aversion Literature: A Critical Assessment . Economics and Philosophy. 25: 249-284.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2009. Decision Makers as Statisticians: Diversity, Ambiguity and Learning. Econometrica. 77: 1371-1401.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2008. Large Games and the Law of Large Numbers. Games and Economic Behavior. 64: 1-34.
Al-Najjar, Nabil, and David Besanko. 2008. Market Forces and Behavioral Biases: Cost-Misallocation and Irrational Pricing. RAND Journal of Economics. 39(1): 214-237.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Jonathan Lewis Weinstein. 2008. Comparative Testing of Experts. Econometrica. 76(3): 541-559.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2007. Finitely Additive Representation of Lp Spaces. Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. 330(12): 891-899.
Al-Najjar, Nabil, Luca Anderlini and Leonardo Felli. 2006. Undescribable Events. Review of Economic Studies. 73(4): 849-868.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Rann Smorodinsky. 2005. The Efficiency of Competitive Mechanisms under Private Information. Journal of Economic Theory. 137(1): 383-403.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2004. Aggregation and the Law of Large Numbers in Large Economies. Games and Economic Behavior. 47(1): 1-35.
Al-Najjar, Nabil, Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Emre Ozdenoren. 2003. Probabilistic Representation of Complexity. Journal of Economic Theory. 111(1): 49-87.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Rann Smorodinsky. 2001. Large Non-Anonymous Repeated Games. Games and Economic Behavior. 37(1): 26-39.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2001. A Reputational Model of Authority. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 46(2): 165-191.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Rann Smorodinsky. 2000. Pivotal Players and the Characterization of Influence. Journal of Economic Theory. 92(2): 318-342.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Rann Smorodinsky. 2000. Provision of Public Goods with Bounded Project Costs. Economics Letters. 67(3): 297-301.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1999. On the Robustness of Factor Structures to Asset Repackaging. Journal of Mathematical Economics. 31(3): 309-320.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1998. Factor Analysis and Arbitrage Pricing in Large Asset Economies. Journal of Economic Theory. 78(2): 231-262.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1997. Incentive Contracts in Two-Sided Moral Hazards with Multiple Agents. Journal of Economic Theory. 74(1): 174-195.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1996. Strategically Stable Equilibria in Games with Infinitely Many Pure Strategies. Mathematical Social Sciences. 31(1): 50.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1995. Incomplete Contracts and the Governance of Complex Contractual Relationships. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. 85(2): 432-436.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1995. Decomposition and Characterization of Risk with a Continuum of Random Variables: Corrigendum. Econometrica. 67(4): 919-920.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1995. Reputation, Product Quality and Warranties. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. 3(4): 605-637.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1995. A Theory of Forward Induction in Finitely Repeated Games. Theory and Decision. 38(2): 173-193.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 1993. Non-Transitive Smooth Preferences. Journal of Economic Theory. 60(1): 14-41.
Working Papers
Al-Najjar, Nabil, Luciano Pomatto and Alvaro Sandroni. 2013. An Economic Model of Induction.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Luciano de Castro. 2013. Ergodic Theory without Probability.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Eran Shmaya. 2012. Uncertainty and Disagreement in Equilibrium Models.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Luciano de Castro. 2012. A Subjective Foundation of Objective Probabilities.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2004. Discretion in Agency Contracts.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Ramon Casadesus-Masanell. 2004. Descretion in Agency Contracts.
Al-Najjar, Nabil. 2000. Complexity as a Barrier to Competitive Imitation.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Chris Forman. 2000. Reciprocal Exchange in Agency.
Book Chapters
de Castro, Luciano and Nabil Al-Najjar. 2011. "Subjective Probability." In Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, edited by James Cochran et al., Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Simone Galperti. 2010. Argentina Currency Peg and Fiscal Reforms (A). Case 5-110-004(A) (KEL569).
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Neil Pardasani. 2006. U.S. Automotive Retailing: 1995–2002 (A). Case 5-106-003(A) (KEL200).
Al-Najjar, Nabil, Ichiro Aoyagi, Guy Goldstein, Ted Korupp, Bin Liu and Suchet Singh. 2006. Boeing and Airbus: Competitive Strategy in the Very Large Aircraft Market. Case 5-404-759 (KEL022).
Al-Najjar, Nabil, Dershan Desai and Steven Hallaway. 2006. Satellite Radio: An Industry Case Study. Case 5-206-255 (KEL203).
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Neil Pardasani. 2006. U.S. Automotive Retailing: 1995–2002 (C). Case 5-106-003(C) (KEL202).
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Neil Pardasani. 2006. U.S. Automotive Retailing: 1995–2002 (B). Case 5-106-003(B) (KEL201).
Al-Najjar, Nabil and Ali Malik. 2005. U.S. Credit Card Industry. Case 5-205-256 (KEL152).
Al-Najjar, Nabil and David Besanko. 2004. Motorola in the Wireless Handset Market. Case 5-204-261 (KEL023).
Al-Najjar, NabilDavid Besanko and Robert Uchoa. 2004. Credit Solicitations as Market Experiments in the U.S. Credit Card Industry. Case 5-204-252 (KEL005).
Al-Najjar, NabilDavid Besanko and Amit Nag. 2004. California Power Crisis. Case 5-403-759 (KEL004).
Al-Najjar, Nabil, and Chris Forman. 2004. Steel Wars: A Battle for the Future of American Steel. Case 5-204-256 (KEL002).
Al-Najjar, Nabil, and Chris Forman. 2004. Sugar Daddy: Quotas and the U.S. Government. Case 5-204-255 (KEL001).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Microeconomics, macroeconomics, competitive strategy, commodity industries, decision theory
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Decision Making & Modeling (DECS-450-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Decision Sciences, Managerial Analytics .

This course presents a normative approach to making decisions in one's personal and professional life. The first half of the course introduces the fundamentals of decision analysis: probabilistic modeling, preference modeling, the five rules of actional thought, decision tree construction and rollback, and the value of imperfect and perfect information. The second half of the course emphasizes the use of these techniques to improve strategic decision-making. Topics include building good decision models, assessing probabilities and ranges, computing risk profiles, judging the sensitivity of decisions to risk attitude and assessed probabilities, and computing the value of better information that improves decisions. The final exam is a take-home case exercise, which students complete using the tools and concepts taught in the course.

For more information about the course content, recent syllabus, and TCEs, please click here.

Competitive Strategy and Industrial Structure (MECN-441-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Management & Strategy, Managerial Analytics, Managerial Economics.

The course studies the determinants nature of competitive strategy in a variety of industry structures. The course considers how the structure of a firm's industry affects its strategic choices and performance. Topics include the dynamic aspects of pricing, entry and predation in concentrated industries, and product differentiation, product proliferation and innovation as competitive strategies.

Executive MBA
Analytical Approach to Uncertainty (DECSX-433-0)
Analytical Approach to Uncertainty introduces elementary probability theory as a tool for modeling uncertainty in business, with illustrations from decision theory and statistics.

Economics of Competition (MECNX-441-0)
Economics of Competition prepares students to diagnose the determinants of an industry’s structure and formulate rational, competitive strategies for coping with that structure.

Competitive Analysis of Commodity Industries (MECNX-442-0)
Competitive Analysis of Commodity Industries introduces students to state-of-the-art models for the analysis of commodity markets. These include powerful frameworks for forecasting price trends, incorporating real options and herd behaviors in pricing models, and economic drivers of public policies and regulations.

Foundations of Managerial Economics I: Game Theory (MECS-460-3)
This course covers conflict and cooperation among rational decision makers in economic, political and social systems. Topics include games in extensive, normal and characteristic function forms; Nash equilibrium and refinements; Bayesian games; infinitely repeated games; stochastic games; Nash bargaining solution; and cooperative games. The course is self-contained but closely coordinated with ECON-410-3. Prerequisite: Knowledge of probability theory and elementary linear algebra; simultaneous enrollment in ECON-410-3 or permission of the instructor.

Decision Theory (MECS-462-0)
This PhD-level course on decision theory focuses on axiomatic theories of individual decision making under risk and uncertainty. The course briefly explores utility theory under certainty and the notion of preferences and their representation, then progresses to the classic theories of decision under risk and uncertainty: von Neumann and Morgenstern, Anscombe and Aumann, and Savage. This lasts roughly half the course and constitutes a basic grounding in the subject. From there the course explores topics that expand on the classical work and are nearer to the current research frontier. These topics may include Allais Paradox, Prospect Theory and Machina's approach; Ellsberg's paradox, uncertainty aversion, and Gilboa and Schmeidler representations; dynamics - Bayesian updating, consistency, preferences over the timing of the resolution of risk/uncertainty; and notions of belief and probability in decision making.