Peter Cramton

Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland (Emeritus since 2018). Since 1983, he has conducted research on auction theory and practice. This research appears in leading economics journals. The focus is the design of auction-based markets. Applications include communications, electricity, and financial markets. On the practical side, an advisor and chief economist to several companies. From 2015-2021, he was an independent director on the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Since 1993, he has advised 15 governments and 44 bidders in spectrum auctions. He is a co-inventor of the spectrum auction design used in Canada, Australia, and many European countries to auction spectrum. Since 2001, he has played a lead role in the design and implementation of electricity and gas auctions in North America, South America, and Europe. He has advised on the design of carbon auctions in Europe, Australia, and the United Sates, including conducting the world’s first greenhouse-gas auction held in the UK in 2002. He has led the development of innovative auctions in new applications, such as auctions for airport slots, wind rights, diamonds, medical equipment, and Internet top-level domains. He received his B.S. in Engineering from Cornell University in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Business from Stanford University in 1984.

Professor Peter Cramton
Economics Department
University of Cologne
Universitätsstr. 22a
50923 Cologne, Germany

+1 240 479 9345


The main topics are auctions, bargaining, and market design, including both theoretical and empirical studies. The auction and market design papers are primarily concerned with auction design, especially in communications, electricity, finance, health, and transport. The bargaining papers focus on the role of time and information in bargaining. There are also several papers on climate policy.


Market design involves bringing market innovations to practice. As such, in addition to my academic positions at the University of Cologne and the University of Maryland, I have a number of entrepreneurial and board activities that keep me close to practice. These activities complement my market design research in many industries (Innovative Auctions and Cramton Associates), including electricity, communications, transport, insurance (Tremor) and finance (CartaX).

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