George Georgiadis Kellogg

CV  |  Publications  |  Working Papers |  Teaching 

Associate Professor of Strategy
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Curriculum Vitae

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. My recent research aims to understand how the design of incentives affects the behaviors of individuals in various settings, and develop insights that organizations can use to optimize their incentive systems.
    At Kellogg, I teach Strategy and Organizations (STRT 452), an elective MBA course on organizational economics, which aims to offer a micro-economic 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), horizontal mergers, and vertical integration.


  • Michael Powell and I just finished a revision of our "A/B Contracts" paper. Read it here.

  • I am co-organizing the SITE session on Dynamic Games, Contracts, and Markets, which will take place virtually on August 18-20, 2021. View the schedule and register to attend (virtually) here.

  • This summer I am presenting my paper "Optimal Feedback in Contests" at the NASMES, SIOE, the Australasian Meeting of the Econometric Society, EC'21, the Annual Conference on Contests: Theory and Evidence, SITE, and the Econometric Society European Meetings.

Working Papers / Work in Progress

  • Optimal Feedback in Contests  [Slides]  (Updated June 2021)
    with Jeffrey Ely, Sina Moghadas Khorasani, and Luis Rayo
    Accepted for presentation at EC'21
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight

    Abstract: We derive an optimal dynamic contest for environments where the principal monitors effort through a coarse, binary performance measure and chooses prize-allocation and termination rules together with a real-time feedback policy. The optimal contest takes a stark cyclical form: contestants are kept fully apprised of their own successes, and at the end of each fixed-length cycle, if at least one agent has succeeded, the contest ends and the prize is shared equally among all successful agents regardless of when they succeeded; otherwise, the designer informs all contestants that nobody has yet succeeded and the contest resets.

  • Working to Learn  [Slides]  (Updated July 2021)
    with Drew Fudenberg and Luis Rayo
    Journal of Economic Theory, Revise & Resubmit

    Abstract: We study the joint determination of wages, effort, and training in "apprenticeships" where novices must work in order to learn. We introduce the idea of learning-by-doing as an inequality constraint, which allows masters to strategically slow training down. Every Pareto-efficient contract has an initial phase where the novice learns as fast as technologically feasible, followed by a phase where their master constrains how fast they learn. This latter phase mitigates the novice's commitment problem, and thus lets the novice consume more than they produce early on in the relationship. Our model also has novel implications for optimal regulation.

  • Optimal Technology Design  [Slides]  [Online Appendix]  (Updated May 2021)
    with Daniel Garrett, Alex Smolin, and Balazs Szentes

    Abstract: This paper considers a moral hazard model with agent limited liability. Prior to interacting with the principal, the agent designs the production technology, which is a specification of his cost of generating each output distribution. After observing the production technology, the principal offers a payment scheme and then the agent chooses a distribution over outputs. We show that there is an optimal design involving only binary distributions (i.e., the cost of any other distribution is prohibitively high), and we characterize the equilibrium technology defined on the binary distributions. Notably, the equilibrium payoff of both players is 1/e.

  • A/B Contracts  [Slides]  [Zoom Talk]  (Updated July 2021)
    with Michael Powell
    American Economic Review, Conditionally Accepted
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight

    Abstract: This paper aims to improve the practical applicability of the classic theory of incentive contracts under moral hazard. We establish conditions under which the information provided by an A/B test of incentive contracts is sufficient for answering the question of how best to improve a status quo incentive contract, given a priori knowledge of the agent's monetary preferences. We assess the empirical relevance of this result using data from DellaVigna and Pope's (2018) study of a variety of incentive contracts. Finally, we discuss how our framework can be extended to incorporate additional considerations beyond those in the classic theory.

  • The Absence of Attrition in a War of Attrition under Complete Information  (Updated June 2021)
    with Youngsoo Kim and Dharma Kwon
    Games & Economic Behavior, Revise & Resubmit

    Abstract: We consider a two-player game of war of attrition under complete information. It is well-known that this class of games admits equilibria in pure, as well as mixed strategies, and much of the literature has focused on the latter. We show that if the players' payoffs whilst in "war" vary stochastically and their exit payoffs are heterogeneous, then the game admits Markov Perfect equilibria in pure strategies only. This is true irrespective of the degree of randomness and heterogeneity, thus highlighting the fragility of mixed-strategy equilibria to a natural perturbation of the canonical model. In contrast, when the players' flow payoffs are deterministic or their exit payoffs are homogeneous, the game admits equilibria in pure and mixed strategies.


Teaching & Lecture Notes