Professor Tom Wilkening researches how to design markets, auctions and economic institutions in environments where behavioural biases and inexperience may affect how people make decisions. His research combines experimental economics with theory to understand how markets evolve and to understand the role the government and private sector might play to improve them.A significant part of Professor Wilkening’s research involves the design of two-sided markets where buyers and sellers have preferences over packages of goods.
These markets arise in situations where the value of one good can increase when a different one is acquired, such as spectrum auctions, for example, where owning a Sydney licence changes the value of a Melbourne licence. In an application of this research, Professor Wilkening has worked with development economists and computer scientists to design an auction system that allows farmers in developing economies to consolidate land in a way that benefits them. Early evidence showed that farmers can use the system effectively, and that it increased the efficiency of the market without exacerbating inequality. As an ARC Future Fellow, Professor Wilkening is continuing this project with further work on the ground in East Africa, with a view to applying it in developing economies around the world. A second phase will tackle the issue of effective land allocations in developed economies such as Australia.In addition to research into market design, Professor Wilkening documents human behaviours in non-market settings, such as in organisations or bilateral negotiations. His research explores how economic efficiency can be improved in these settings, if we design with more realistic assumptions about human behaviour.Professor Wilkening’s work has been applied to a variety of problems in Australia and published in leading academic journals including the American Economic Review and the Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Journal of Economic Literature. He has also provided training courses for the government and the private sector on market design and procurement.
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Tom Wilkening's selected work
Experimental guidance for eliciting beliefs with the Stochastic Becker-DeGroot-Marschak me..
The Role of Bounded Rationality and Imperfect Information in Subgame Perfect Implementatio..
Displaying the 5 most recent projects by Tom Wilkening.
Internal Research Grant
Displaying the 18 most recent scholarly works by Tom Wilkening.
Two-sided allocation problems, decomposability, and the impossibility of efficient trade
D Delacrétaz, S Loertscher, LM Marx, T Wilkening
Journal article | 2019 | Journal of Economic Theory
Previous literature has shown that private information is a transaction cost that prevents efficient reallocation in two-sided set..
The Role of Bounded Rationality and Imperfect Information in Subgame Perfect Implementation- An Empirical Investigation
P Aghion, E Fehr, R Holden, T Wilkening
Journal article | 2018 | Journal of the European Economic Association
In this paper we conduct a laboratory experiment to test the extent to which Moore and Repullo’s subgame perfect implementation me..
Honours, Awards and Fellowships
Undergraduate Economics Association Teaching Award
MIT Presidential Fellow