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, at a broad level, aims to understand how the design of performance pay plans affects the behaviors of individuals in various organizational settings, develop insights regarding the optimal design of incentives, and shed light on what information firms must collect, or otherwise take a stance on, to optimize their incentive plans.
    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.

Working Papers

  • Optimal Incentives under Moral Hazard: From Theory to Practice  [Slides]  (Updated October 2019)
    with Michael Powell

    Abstract: This paper aims to improve the practical applicability of the classic theory of incentive contracts under moral hazard. We show that the information provided by an A/B test of incentive contracts is a sufficient statistic for the question of how best to locally 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 (2017) 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.

  • Optimal Monitoring Design  [Slides]  (Updated October 2019)
    with Balazs Szentes
    Econometrica, Revise & Resubmit.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight

    Abstract: This paper considers a Principal-Agent model with hidden action in which the Principal can monitor the Agent by acquiring independent signals conditional on effort at a constant marginal cost. The Principal aims to implement a target effort level at minimal cost. The main result of the paper is that the optimal information-acquisition strategy is a two-threshold policy and, consequently, the equilibrium contract specifies two possible wages for the Agent. This result provides a rationale for the frequently observed single-bonus wage-contracts.

  • The Absence of Attrition in the War of Attrition under Complete Information  (Updated August 2019)
    with Youngsoo Kim and Dharma Kwon

    Abstract: We consider a two-player game of war of attrition under complete information. Our main result shows that if the players' payoffs whilst fighting for the prize vary stochastically, and their exit payoffs are heterogeneous, then the game admits Markov Perfect equilibria in pure strategies only. This result holds 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, we show that the game admits equilibria in pure, as well as in mixed strategies.

  • Optimal Contracts with a Risk-Taking Agent   [Slides]  [Matlab Code]  (Updated July 2019)
    with Daniel Barron and Jeroen Swinkels
    Theoretical Economics, Accepted.
    Featured in: Kellogg Insight, Bloomberg, and SmartBrief

    Abstract: Consider an agent who can costlessly add mean-preserving noise to his output. To deter such risk-taking, the principal optimally offers a contract that makes the agent's utility concave in output. If the agent is risk-neutral and protected by limited liability, this concavity constraint binds and so linear contracts maximize profit. If the agent is risk averse, the concavity constraint might bind for some outputs but not others. We characterize the unique profit-maximizing contract and show how deterring risk-taking affects the insurance-incentive tradeoff. Our logic extends to costly risk-taking and to dynamic settings where the agent can shift output over time.


Teaching & Lecture Notes