Seitlicher Blick auf das D4 Gebäude.

WU Lecture in Economics 2020

The Nobel Prize in layperson’s terms - the research behind the 200 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences


WU matters. WU talks. | December 16, 2020 | Keynote Speakers: Maarten Janssen & Stefan Felder, Interviewee: Alan E. Roth

Watch the full WU Lecture in Economics 2020 here

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson for their improvements to auction theory and development of new auction formats.

The prestigious Nobel Prize honours outstanding scientists for research that often appears very complicated, sometimes even incomprehensible, to a broader public. This public lecture in economics explained the work of this year's Nobel laureates so that people from outside the field could also understand its significance and innovative character. Maarten Janssen, Professor of Economics at the University of Vienna, and Stefan Felder, head of Spectrum and Mobile Markets at the Rundfunk- und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH, were keynote speakers and experts on the panel. Alvin E. Roth, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize and Professor of Economics at Stanford University, joined the lecture in a video interview with Ben Greiner (Department of Strategy and Innovation, WU). Tatjana Oppitz (Vice-Rector for Infrastructure and Digitalization, WU) opened the lecture and Maria Marchenko (Department of Economics, WU) moderated the event.

Keynote speaker Maarten Janssen introduced the research behind the work of Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, discussing the different auction formats and designs and their omnipresence in our everyday lives. He explored one of the most crucial terms in auction theory, the winner’s curse. This decribes the regret a winning bidder at an auction feels for having bid more than the probable real value for an item, which impacts the design of auctions and biding methods. His reflections were followed by an online interview with Alvin E. Roth, who talked about his research in market design as the basis for auction theory and design. The second keynote speaker, Stefan Felder, gave a lecture on applied auction theory using spectrum auctions as an example. In Austria, auctions are the dominant mechanism for awarding spectrum usage rights. Stefan Felder discussed options for organizing spectrum auctions and the challenges of finding the right auction design and format, then closed with an analysis of the recent 5G auction in Austria.