Nicola Persico
Nicola Persico

John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences
Director of the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics & Management

Print Overview

Dr. Persico is currently the John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He received his PhD in Economics from Northwestern University in 1996, and spent one year on the faculty at UCLA prior to joining Penn in 1997, where he was granted tenure. He moved to NYU in 2006 as Professor of Economics, and Professor of Law and Society. Dr. Persico joined, Kellogg in 2011. Dr. Persico has received a number of honors and fellowships, including several National Science Foundation Grants, and he was an Alfred P. Sloan research fellow from 2002-2004. He served on the editorial board of the International Economic Review, has been associate editor of Econometrica, of The American Economic Review, and of the Journal of the European Economic Association, and co-editor of Theoretical Economics. Dr. Persico has published in the areas of political economy, law and economics, and labor economics.

Areas of Expertise
Contract Theory
Economics of Organizations
Game Theory
Political Economy/Design
Voting Systems

Print Vita
PhD, 1996, Economics, Northwestern University
PhD, 1995, Mathematical Economics , Trieste, Italy
Laurea, 1991, Economics, Università Bocconi, Magna cum Laude

Academic Positions
Professor, Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2011-present
Professor (courtesy), Economics, Northwestern University, 2011-present
Research Associate, NBER, 2006-present
Professor, Economics and Law and Society, New York University, 2006-2011
Associate Professor, Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 2001-2006
Visiting Fellow, Economics, Princeton University, 2001-2001
Assistant Professor, Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1997-2001
Assistant Professor, Economics, UCLA, 1996-1997

Editorial Positions
Co-Editor, Theoretical Economics, 2011-2015
Board of Editors, American Economic Review, 2009-2011
Associate Editor, Econometrica, 2009-2011
Associate Editor, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2009-2011
Editorial Board, International Economic Review, 2001-2006

Print Research
Research Interests

Contract Theory, Economics of Organizations, Political Economy/Design, Labor Economics, Microeconomics, Game Theory

Bray, RobertNicola Persico, Decio Coviello and Andrea Ichino. Forthcoming. Multitasking, Multi-Armed Bandits, and the Italian Judiciary. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.
Persico, Nicola, Decio Coviello and Andrea Ichino. 2015. The Inefficiency of Worker Time Use. Journal of the European Economic Association.
Persico, Nicola, Decio Coviello and Andrea Ichino. 2014. Time Allocation and Task Juggling. American Economic Association Papers and Proceedin. AER Volume 104(2)
Persico, Nicola. 2014. The Political Economy of Occupational Licensing Associations. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.
Persico, Nicola, Edoardo DiPorto and Nicolas Sahuguet. 2013. Decentralized Deterrence, with an Application to labor Tax Auditing. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics. 5(1): 35-62.
Persico, Nicola and Oren Bar-Gill. Forthcoming. Exchange Efficiency with Weak Ownership Rights. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
Persico, Nicola. 2012. Evidence of Discrimination. Journal of Legal Studies. 41(2): 321.
Persico, Nicola, Benjamin Lester and Ludo Visschers. 2012. Information Acquisition and the Exclusion of Evidence in Trials. Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. 28(1): 163-182.
Persico, Nicola, Manolis Galenianos and Rosalie Liccardo. 2011. A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs. Review of Economic Studies. 79(2): 1239-1269.
Persico, Nicola, Dan Silverman and Jose-Carlos Rodriguez-Pueblita. 2011. Factions and Political Competition. Journal of Political Economy. 119(2): 242-288.
Persico, Nicola, Jan Eeckhout and Petra Todd. 2010. A Theory of Optimal Random Crackdowns. American Economic Review. 100(3): 1104-35.
Persico, Nicola. 2009. Racial Profiling? Detecting Bias Using Statistical Evidence. Annual Review of Economics. 1: 229-54.
Persico, Nicola and Petra Todd. 2008. The hit rates test for racial bias in motor-vehicle searches. Justice Quarterly. 25(1): 37-53.
Persico, Nicola and Petra Todd. 2006. Generalising the Hit Rates Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement, with an Application to Vehicle Searches in Wichita. The Economic Journal. 116: F351-F367.
Persico, Nicola and Nicolas Sahuguet. 2006. Campaign Spending Regulation in a Model of Redistributive Politics. Economic Theory. 28(1): 95-124.
Persico, Nicola and Alessandro Lizzeri. 2005. A Drawback of Electoral Competition. Journal of the European Economic Association. 3(4): 1318-1348.
Persico, Nicola and Petra Todd. 2005. Passenger Profiling, Imperfect Screening, and Airport Security. American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings.: 127-31.
Persico, Nicola and David Castleman. 2005. Detecting Bias: Using Statistical Evidence to Establish Intentional Discrimination in Racial Profiling Cases. University of Chicago Legal Forum.: 217-35.
Persico, Nicola, Andrew Postlewaite and Dan Silverman. 2004. The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height. Journal of Political Economy. 112(5): 1019-53.
Persico, Nicola and Alessandro Lizzeri. 2004. Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain’s ‘Age of Reform. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 119(2): 707–765.
Persico, Nicola. 2004. Committee Design with Endogenous Information. Review of Economic Studies. 71(1): 165-94.
Persico, Nicola. 2002. Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing. American Economic Review. 92(5): 1472-97.
Persico, Nicola and Alessandro Lizzeri. 2001. The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives. American Economic Review. 91(1): 225-39.
Persico, Nicola, John Knowles and Petra Todd. 2001. Racial Bias in Motor-Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence. Journal of Political Economy. 109(1): 203-29.
Persico, Nicola. 2000. Information Acquisition in Auctions. Econometrica. 68(1): 135-48.
Persico, Nicola and Alessandro Lizzeri. 2000. Uniqueness and Existence of Equilibrium in Auctions with a Reserve Price. Games and Economic Behavior. 30(1): 83-114.
Working Papers
Persico, Nicola. 2010. Generic Uniqueness of the Solutions to a Continuous Linear Programming Problem.
Persico, Nicola, Decio Coviello and Andrea Ichino. 2010. Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin: The impact of task juggling on workers' speed of job completion.
Book Chapters
Persico, Nicola and Alessandro Lizzeri. 2009. "Electoral Incentives, Political Risk-Taking and Policy Reform." In The Political Economy of Democracy, edited by E. Aragones, C. Bevia, H. Llavador, N. Schofield, Fundación BBVA.
Persico, Nicola and Luigi Montrucchio. 1993. "Acyclicity of Optimal Paths." In Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Social Sciences, edited by F. Gori, L. Geronazzo, M. Galeotti, 283-95. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
Minor, Dylan and Nicola Persico. 2013. The Volcker Rule: Financial Crisis, Bailouts, and the Need for Financial Regulation. Case 5-412-753 (KEL703).
Persico, Nicola. 2015. Electronic Cigarettes in the EU: The Political Economy of Product Regulation. Case 5-215-255 (KEL927).
Persico, Nicola and C. James Prieur. 2015. Conseco Senior Health Insurance: A Strategic Problem of Reputation and Regulation. Case 5-313-502 (KEL898).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Political Economy, Business Strategy
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Leadership and Crisis Management (KPPI-440-5)
This course was formerly known as KPPI 440-A
In recent decades corporations have increasingly become the dominant source for political and social change. Increased globalization and technological progress have further accelerated this process. Businesses are now held accountable by standards other than legal compliance or financial performance. Successful business leaders have recognized that these challenges are best mastered by a commitment to values-based management. However, simply "doing the right thing" is not enough. Rather, companies increasingly find themselves as targets of aggressive legal action, media coverage and social pressure. Organizations must be prepared to handle rapidly changing environments and anticipate potential threats. This requires a deep understanding of the strategic complexities in managing various stakeholders and constituencies. To confront students with these challenges in a realistic fashion, the class is structured around a rich set of challenging case studies and crisis simulation exercises.

Strategy Beyond Markets (KPPI-441-0)
The explicit regulations and implicit norms governing a firm's market behavior are determined by myriad social, political, regulatory and legal institutions. These non-market institutions are arenas in which interest groups compete to change the rules to further their goals. This course takes the perspective of managers or consultants who must anticipate how interests and institutions within the non-market environment will react to new issues and develop strategies for affecting outcomes with the goal of improving firm performance. The course introduces students to a set of frameworks and tools that assist managers in non-market analysis and strategy development. Cases focusing on the media, activists, legislatures, regulatory agencies and international trade are used to practice applying the frameworks and formulating effective strategies.

Executive MBA
Strategy Beyond Markets (KPPIX-441-0)
All economic systems are defined by "rules of the game:" laws, regulations, and implicit norms of behavior that structure market competition. Examples include: antitrust legislation; regulatory compliance requirements; privacy regulation and norms; intellectual property rules; product liability rules; barriers to exports; etc. In this class you will learn how to think strategically about the rules of the game, and how to make the rules of the game work for your company.

Strategic Crisis Management (KPPIX-910-0)
Strategic Crisis Management provides conceptual tools for managers in high-pressure, complex crisis situations. Topics include management and media, dealing with activists and interest groups, and surviving legal, legislative and regulatory challenges.

Foundations of Managerial Economics I: Game Theory (MECS-460-3)
Conflict and cooperation among rational decision makers in economic, political, and social systems. 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. Taught in a self-contained manner but closely coordinated with ECON 410-3. Prerequisites: Knowledge of probability theory and elementary linear algebra; simultaneous enrollment in ECON 410-3 or permission of the instructor.

Topics in Formal Political Theory (MECS-516-0)
The focus of this seminar is formal models of candidate competition and information aggregation in elections. A graduate course in game theory is a prerequisite. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.