What does Paul Krugman have in common with Eric Maskin, Daniel Kahneman, John Nash, Sir W. Arthur Lewis, A Michael Spence, and Gary Becker? As of this Monday, they are all Princeton University faculty who have one won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, was already very well known for his twice-weekly op-ed column in the New York Times since 2000, as a regular fixture on Cable news broadcasts, and for his 2007 bestseller, The Conscience of a Liberal, a sharp political, economic, and social study of the past 80 years in America. There, he contends that the dominance of movement conservatism has resulted again in the ascendancy of the wealthy, with initiatives to cut taxes for the rich, to dismantle social programs, and to demolish unions.
Ken Steiglitz, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University and an avid collector of ancient coins, has combined his interests in a new book Snipers, Shills, and Sharks: eBay and Human Behavior. “Why is eBay so successful?” and “How well does the theory of auctions work in predicting human behavior?” were two of the questions he addressed at the October 17 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar.
eBay has succeeded, Steiglitz suggests, not simply because it began early but more importantly because its operation engenders trust. Feedback mechanisms provide a degree of trust to both buyers and sellers, and eBay offers transparency to all involved. Only recently have they retreated somewhat by making bids over $200 anonymous and by eliminating searches by bidder to active auctions (a change that has just been reversed).