George Georgiadis Kellogg

CV  |  Publications  |  Working Papers |  Teaching 

Associate Professor of Strategy (with tenure)
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Curriculum Vitae       Research Statement

Research Interests
Microeconomic Theory, Organization Economics, Industrial Organization

Contact Information
Kellogg School of Management
Office 4223
2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Short Bio

    I am an applied microeconomic theorist with a focus on organizational economics and industrial organization. At a broad level, my research studies how incentives—predominately financial ones—affect the behaviors of individuals and organizations. One line of research studies how firms can design effective incentive schemes to motivate their employees. Another line analyzes public good provision problems, and specifically, how inefficiencies such as freeriding can be attenuated.
    At Kellogg, I teach Strategy and Organizations (STRT 452), an elective MBA course on organizational economics, which offers a microeconomic approach to both the internal organization of firms and its relationship with their rivals' overall strategies. Topics include incentive pay, decentralization (e.g., transfer pricing and coordination issues), purpose-driven organizations, strategic communication, horizontal mergers, and vertical integration. I also teach Data-Driven Theory, a PhD course that familiarizes students with research at the interface of theory and empirics. Topics include contract theory under moral hazard and adverse selection, market design, reinforcement learning (algorithmic pricing), taxation, and social insurance.

Working Papers / Work in Progress

  • Contracting with Moral Hazard  (January, 2024)
    Forthcoming in the Elgar Encyclopedia on the Economics of Competition and Regulation (ed. Michael Noel)

    Abstract: This article surveys the literature on principal-agent problems with moral hazard that gained popularity following the seminal works of Mirrlees (1976), Holmstrom (1979), and others. This literature is concerned with designing incentives to motivate one or more workers—typically by paying for performance—in settings where his actions cannot be directly contracted on. I begin with the canonical framework, and then in Section 2, I categorize the subsequent literature that relaxes various assumptions of this framework. Section 3 focuses on the empirical research, and Section 4 discusses other strands of the literature. My goal is to provide a broad and concise overview-sometimes at the expense of depth, and focus on the economic insights (rather than methodological contributions).

  • Robust Contracts: A Revealed Preference Approach  [Slides]  [EC'23]  (May, 2024)
    with Nemanja Antic
    Review of Economics and Statistics, Accepted

    Abstract: We study an agency model in which the principal has outcome data under different incentive schemes and aims to design an optimal contract under minimal assumptions about the way the agent responds to incentives. In particular, the principal knows the agent-optimal actions, which are distributions over outcomes, in response to K "known" contracts but is unaware of other actions available, and importantly, of their costs. The principal seeks a contract that maximizes worst-case profits. The optimal contract is a mixture of the known contracts and the (linear) one that makes the agent residual claimant. Moreover, when K=1, the single known contract maximizes the principal's profit guarantee, whereas, with two known contracts, the optimal mixture puts strictly positive weight on one of the known contracts. Our methodology is straightforward to implement, a point that we demonstrate using data from the DellaVigna and Pope (2018) experimental study of different incentive schemes.

  • Feedback Design in Dynamic Moral Hazard  [Slides]  (February, 2024)
    with Jeffrey Ely and Luis Rayo
    Econometrica, Revise & Resubmit

    Abstract: We study the joint design of dynamic incentives and performance feedback for an environment with a coarse (all-or-nothing) measure of performance, and show that hiding information from the agent can be an optimal way to motivate effort. Using a novel approach to incentive compatibility, we derive a two-phase solution that begins with a "silent phase" where the agent is given no feedback and is asked to work non-stop, and ends with a "full-transparency phase" where the agent stops working as soon as a performance threshold is met. Hiding information leads to greater effort, but an ignorant agent is also more expensive to motivate. The two-phase solution—where the agent's ignorance is fully frontloaded—stems from a "backward compounding effect" that raises the cost of hiding information as time passes.


  1. Flexible Moral Hazard Problems  [Slides]  
    with Doron Ravid and Balazs Szentes
    Econometrica, 2024, 92 (2), 387-409.
  1. Optimal Feedback in Contests  [Slides]  [EC'21]
    with Jeffrey Ely, Sina Moghadas Khorasani, and Luis Rayo
    Review of Economic Studies, 2023, 90 (5), 2370-2394.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight
  1. Optimal Technology Design  [Slides]  [Online Appendix]
    with Daniel Garrett, Alex Smolin, and Balazs Szentes
    Journal of Economic Theory, 2023, 209, 105621.
  1. A/B Contracts  [Slides]  [Zoom Talk]  [Online Appendix]  [Matlab Code]
    with Michael Powell
    American Economic Review, 2022, 112 (1), 267-303.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight
  1. The Absence of Attrition in a War of Attrition under Complete Information
    with Youngsoo Kim and Dharma Kwon
    Games & Economic Behavior, 2022, 131, 171-185.
  1. Working to Learn  [Slides]
    with Drew Fudenberg and Luis Rayo
    Journal of Economic Theory, 2021, 197, 105347.
  1. Optimal Monitoring Design  [Slides]  [Online Appendix]
    with Balazs Szentes
    Econometrica, 2020, 88 (5), 2075-2107.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight
  1. Optimal Contracts with a Risk-Taking Agent   [Slides]  [Online Appendix]  [Matlab Code]
    with Daniel Barron and Jeroen Swinkels
    Theoretical Economics, 2020, 15 (2), 715-761.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight, Bloomberg, and SmartBrief
  1. Collective Choice in Dynamic Public Good Provision   [Slides]
    with Renee Bowen and Nicolas Lambert
    American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2019, 11 (1), 243-298.
  1. Deadlines and Infrequent Monitoring in the Dynamic Provision of Public Goods  (Lead article)
    Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 152, 1-12.
  1. Project Contracting Strategies for Managing Team Dynamics  (Not peer-reviewed)
    in Information Exchange in Supply Chain Management (eds. Albert Ha and Christopher Tang), Springer.
  1. Achieving Efficiency in Dynamic Contribution Games    [Slides]
    with Jaksa Cvitanic
    American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2016, 8 (4), 309-342.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight
  1. Projects and Team Dynamics   [Online Appendix]   [Slides]
    Review of Economic Studies, 2015, 82 (1), 187-218.
  1. Project Design with Limited Commitment and Teams   [Slides]
    with Steven Lippman and Christopher Tang
    RAND Journal of Economics, 2014, 45 (3), 598-623.
  1. Optimal Reservation Policies and Market Segmentation
    with Christopher Tang
    International Journal of Production Economics, 2014, 154, 81-99.

  1. The Retail Planning Problem Under Demand Uncertainty   [Slides]
    with Kumar Rajaram
    Production and Operations Management, 2013, 22 (5), 1200-1213.

Teaching & Lecture Notes