• 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. I have been at USC since the start of 2019.



    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 settings where the acquisition, transmission or dynamics of information play a major role. I am particularly interested in questions related to the design of optimal policies in these situations.


    I have studied pricing with consumer learning, researcher incentives, and biases in dynamic belief updating.

  • 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

    (July 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

    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.

    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.

  • 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