• Jonathan A. Libgober

    Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Southern California

    Welcome to my website!


    I am an economist studying information economics and mechanism design. I am interested in both pure theory and applied questions.


    I received my PhD in Economics from Harvard in May 2018.



    Drew Fudenberg, Eric Maskin, Jerry Green, Ben Golub


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    Contact me for more info. (Last update: March 29, 2019)

  • About Me

    Information Economics, Pure and Applied

    I am a theorist who works on mechanism design in settings where the acquisition, transmission or dynamics of information play a major role.


    I have studied dynamic pricing with consumer learning, researcher incentives, technology procurement and contracts for experimentation.

  • Working Papers

    Informational Robustness in Intertemporal Pricing

    with Xiaosheng Mu (January 2019) R&R @ Review of Economic Studies

    Constant price paths deliver the optimal profit guarantee when a seller does not know how buyers learn about a product.

    False Positives and Transparency

    (New Version! March 2019)

    Lack of transparency over research methods can induce biased claims. But it also creates an incentive to counteract the de-biasing of that research.

    Prototyping under Competition

    Available upon request; to be posted soon

    A principal wants to choose a project and allocate it competitively. In some cases, the ability to randomize across participants (but not across projects) is necessary for competition to be beneficial.

  • Works In Progress

    Email me if you have any questions

    The Informed Principal with Evolving Private Information

    A principal with a privately observed state designs a mechanism facing an agent with serial correlation. The interaction of the principal's and the agent's private information yields distortions away from first best, and in certain settings both are necessary.

    Contracting with Experiment Choice: Interpreting Failure

    A principal hires an agent to develop a new technology. The uncertainty about the productivity of the relationship creates a novel incentive conflict: the agent may prefer to keep changing projects in case failure causes the principal to become pessimistic too early.

  • Education

    Harvard University

    Ph.D. (2012-2018)

    Thesis Title: Information and Learning in Mechanism Design


    M.A. awarded 2014, field exams in Microeconomic Theory and Industrial Organization

    University of Chicago

    Undergraduate (2008-2012)

    S.B. in Mathematics (Departmental Honors, Paul R. Cohen award for top 5 record among seniors)

    A.B. in Economics (Departmental Honors, David S. Hu award for coursework and thesis)

    A.B. in Statistics

    Phi Beta Kappa