Robert Weber
Robert Weber

MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS & DECISION SCIENCES
Frederic E. Nemmers Professor of Decision Sciences

Print Overview

Robert J. Weber is the Frederic E. Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Educated at Princeton and Cornell, he was a faculty member of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale, and taught in the Yale School of Organization and Management, prior to joining the Kellogg faculty in 1979.

His general area of research is game theory, with a primary focus on the effects of private information in competitive settings. Much of his research has been centered on the theory and practice of competitive bidding and auction design. His 1982 paper, "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding" (Econometrica 50, co-authored with P.R. Milgrom), is considered a seminal work in the field. He served as an external consultant on a 1985 project leading to revisions in the procedures used to auction petroleum extraction leases on the U.S. outer continental shelf, and he co-organized (with representatives of the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Treasury) the 1992 public forum which led to changes in the way the Treasury auctions its debt issues. Since 1993, he has represented private clients during both the rule-making and bidding phases of the FCC's sale of licenses of spectrum for the provision of personal communications services.

In the early 1970s, Professor Weber proposed an alternative to the traditional "plurality rule" for elections involving more than two candidates. This alternative, "approval voting", has generated a substantial body of research, has been adopted by a number of professional organizations, and has been used in several public elections. Recent work in this area includes "A Theory of Voting Equilibria" (American Political Science Review 87, 1993, co-authored with R. Myerson), and "Approval Voting" (Journal of Economic Perspectives 9(1), 1995).

Professor Weber has also conducted research on negotiation and arbitration. Among his activities have been preparation of a research survey for the American Arbitration Association, and development of classroom materials for the National Institute for Dispute Resolution. He is a founding member of the Center for Research on Dispute Resolution at Northwestern University, and has served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Game Theory. In 1990 he was designated the outstanding professor of the year by the students in Kellogg's Managers' Program, and in 1998 he received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award. In 2008, he was chosen as Alumni Professor of the Year.

Print Vita
Education
PhD, 1974, Operations Research, Cornell University
MS, 1972, Operations Research, Cornell University
AB, 1969, Mathematics, Princeton University

Grants and Awards
Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2008-2009, 1997-1998
Kellogg Alumni Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2008
Part-Time MBA Program Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg School of Management, 1990

 
Print Research
Research Interests
Game theory, auctions and bidding, voting systems

Articles
Gossner, Olivier, Ehud Kalai and Robert Weber. 2009. Information Independence and Common Knowledge. Econometrica. 77(4): 1317-1328.
Weber, Robert. 2003. Auction Theory. Games and Economic Behavior. 45(2): 488-497.
Ferguson, Thomas, Lloyd Shapley and Robert Weber. 2002. Notes on a Stochastic Game with Information Structure. International Journal of Game Theory. 31(2): 223-228.
Weber, Robert. 1997. Making More From Less: Strategic Demand Reduction in the FCC Spectrum Auctions. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. 6(3): 529-548.
Forsythe, Robert, Roger B. Myerson, Thomas A. Rietz and Robert Weber. 1996. An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections. International Journal of Game Theory. 25(3): 335-383.
Weber, Robert. 1995. Approval Voting. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 9(1): 39-49.
Weber, Robert. 1994. Equilibrium in Non-Partitioning Strategies. Games and Economic Behavior. 7(2): 286-294.
Forsythe, Robert, Roger B. Myerson, Thomas A. Rietz and Robert Weber. 1993. An Experiment on Coordination in Multi-Candidate Elections: The Importance of Polls and Election Histories. Social Choice and Welfare. 10(3): 223-247.
Myerson, Roger B. and Robert Weber. 1993. A Theory of Voting Equilibria. American Political Science Review. 87(1): 102-114.
Chari, V.V. and Robert Weber. 1992. How the US Treasury should auction its debt. Quarterly Review.: 3-12.
Reprinted in:
The Handbook of Debt Management, edited by Gerald J. Miller, 825-834. New York: Marcel-Dekker, 1996.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 1985. Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information. Mathematics of Operations Research. 10(4): 619-632.
Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard and Robert Weber. 1983. A Sequential Auction Involving Asymmetrically-Informed Bidders. International Journal of Game Theory. 12(2): 123-127.
Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, Paul R. Milgrom and Robert Weber. 1983. Competitive bidding and proprietary information. Journal of Mathematical Economics. 11(2): 161-169.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 1982. A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding. Econometrica. 50(5): 1089-1122.
Weber, Robert. 1982. Distributive Solutions for Absolutely Stable Games. International Journal of Game Theory. 11(1): 53-56.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 1982. The value of information in a sealed-bid auction. Journal of Mathematical Economics. 10(1): 105-114.
Reprinted in:
The Economic Theory of Auctions, edited by Paul Klemperer, Cheltenham Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2000.
Shubik, Martin and Robert Weber. 1981. Systems Defense Games: Colonel Blotto, Command and Control. Naval Research Logistics Quarterly. 28(2): 281-287.
Dubey, Pradeep, Abraham Neyman and Robert Weber. 1981. Value theory without efficiency. Mathematics of Operations Research. 6(1): 122-128.
Weber, Robert. 1980. Social Choice Theory. UMAP Journal. 1
Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard and Robert Weber. 1979. An Example of a Multi-Object Auction Game. Management Science. 25(12): 1272-1277.
Billera, Louis J. and Robert Weber. 1979. Dense families of low-complexity attainable sets of markets. Journal of Mathematical Economics. 6(1): 67-73.
Weber, Robert. 1978. Attainable Sets of Quasiconcave Markets II: Convexifiable Sets. Mathematics of Operations Research. 3(3): 257-264.
Weber, Robert. 1977. Attainable Sets of Quasiconcave Markets. Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. 64(1): 104-111.
Weber, Robert. 1976. Absolutely Stable Games. Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. 55(1): 116-118.
Working Papers
Weber, Robert. 2002. On Poker and Bluffing.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 2000. A theory of auctions and competitive bidding.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 1983. Exchangeable Affiliated Random Variables.
Weber, Robert. 1982. The Allais Paradox, Dutch auctions, and alpha-utility theory.
Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard and Robert Weber. 1981. Estimates and Information.
Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard and Robert Weber. 1979. On the Non-Existence of Multiplicative Equilibrium Bidding Strategies.
Weber, Robert. 1978. Reproducing Voting Systems.
Weber, Robert. 1978. Comparison of Public Choice Systems.
Weber, Robert. 1978. Multiply-Weighted Voting Systems.
Weber, Robert. 1974. Bargaining Solutions and Stationary Sets for n-Person Games.
Weber, Robert. 1973. A Decomposition Property of Partitions.
Weber, Robert. 1973. Discriminatory Solutions for [n,n-2]-Games.
Weber, Robert. 1973. A Generalized Discriminatory Solution for a Class of n-Person Games.
Weber, Robert. 1973. Symmetric simple games.
Book Chapters
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 2000. "The value of information in a sealed-bid auction." In The Economic Theory of Auctions, edited by P. Klemperer, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd..
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 2000. "A theory of auctions and competitive bidding II." In The Economic Theory of Auctions, edited by P. Klemperer, vol. 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
Chari, V. V. and Robert Weber. 1996. "How the U.S. Treasury should auction its debt." In The Handbook of Debt Management, Marcel-Dekker.
Weber, Robert. 1994. "Games in coalitional form." In Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edited by Robert Aumann and Sergiu Hart, vol. 2, Elsevier.
Weber, Robert. 1991. "The (constructive) role of conflict." In Teaching Notes in Dispute Resolution, National Institute of Dispute Resolution.
Weber, Robert. 1988. "Probabilistic values for games." In The Shapley Value: Essays in Hornor of Lloyd S. Shapley, edited by Alvin E. Roth, 101-119. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weber, Robert. 1987. "Games with incomplete information." In The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, edited by L. Blume and S. Durlauf, Palgrave Macmillan.
Weber, Robert. 1985. "Negotiation and arbitration: A game-theoretic perspective." In The Manager as Negotiator and Dispute Resolver, edited by Jeanne M. Brett, National Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Weber, Robert. 1985. "Negotiation and arbitration: A game-theoretic perspective." In The Manager as Dispute Resolver: Curriculum Modules in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, edited by Jeanne M. Brett and Deborah M. Kolb, Washington, DC: National Institute of Dispute Resolution.
Weber, Robert. 1983. "Multiple-Object Auctions." In Competitive Bidding, Auctions, and Procurement, edited by R. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, R.M. Stark, M. Shubik, New York University Press.
Weber, Robert. 1983. "Multiple-choice testing." In Discrete and System Models, edited by William F. Lucas, Fred S. Roberts, Robert M. Thrall, Springer-Verlag.
Weber, Robert. 1982. "Noncooperative games." In Game Theory and its Applications, edited by William F. Lucas, American Mathematical Society.
Milgrom, Paul R. and Robert Weber. 1981. "Topologies on information and strategies in games with incomplete information." In Game Theory and Mathematical Economics, edited by O. Moeschlin and D. Pallaschke, Elsevier.
Weber, Robert. 1981. "Attainable sets of markets: An overview." In Generalized Concavity in Optimization and Economics, edited by M. Avriel, S. Schaible, and W.T. Ziemba, Academic Press.
Weber, Robert. 1979. "Gleichgewichtspunkte (Equilibrium points)." In Handwerterbuch der Mathematischen Wirtschafts-wissenschaften, Gabler Verlag.
Weber, Robert. 1979. "Subjectivity in the valuation of games." In Game Theory and Related Topics, edited by O. Moeschlin and D. Pallaschke, Elsevier.
Other
Littlechild, Stephen C., Robert Weber and H. Peyton Young. "Strategic Models of World Food Production and Trade.".
Cases
Weber, Robert. 1991. The (Constructive) Role of Conflict. Washington, DC: National Institute of Dispute Resolution.

 
Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Probability, statistics, strategic decision-making (game theory)
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Business Analytics I (DECS-430-A)
Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. This course will provide students with an analytics toolkit, reinforcing basic probability and statistics while throughout emphasizing the value and pitfalls of reasoning with data. Applications will focus on connections among analytical tools, data, and business decision-making

Business Analytics I (DECS-430-B)
Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. This course will provide students with an analytics toolkit, reinforcing basic probability and statistics while throughout emphasizing the value and pitfalls of reasoning with data. Applications will focus on connections among analytical tools, data, and business decision-making

Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DECS-433-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Decision Sciences.

Provides frameworks for reasoning about decisions in uncertain environments. Case studies and experiments are used to motivate the importance of probabilistic reasoning to avoid the systematic biases that cloud managers' decision making. Formal probabilistic tools are introduced and their relevance to modern business issues is conveyed via cases, exercises, and class experiments. Some of the applications include: inventory management with uncertain demand, principal-agent models, herd behavior, selection bias, rare events, real options and risk. The course is self-contained, and should be of value to all students, including those with prior exposure to formal probability models.

Game Theory and Strategic Decisions (formerly Strategic Decision Making) (DECS-452-0)

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

Decision makers face two types of uncertainty: uncertainty about the state of nature (how much oil is on a tract of land) and uncertainty about the strategic behavior of other decision makers (what pricing strategy a competitor will follow). This course focuses on strategic uncertainty and the uses decision makers can make of the concepts of game theory to guide their decisions. Topics include bargaining and arbitration, collusion and competition, joint cost allocation, market entry and product differentiation, and competitive bidding. Role-playing exercises and case analysis are used.

Executive MBA
Statistical Decision Analysis (DECSX-434-0)
Statistical Decision Analysis explores the use of sample data for estimating,predicting, forecasting and making business decisions.

Statistical Decision Analysis Retake (DECSX-434-R)
Course created to capture retake grades for students who did not pass the course on their first attempt.