Peter Cramton

Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland.

  • Global Carbon Pricing

    Global Carbon Pricing

    The Path to Climate Cooperation

    Peter Cramton, David JC MacKay, Axel Ockenfels, and Steven Stoft

    Why the traditional “pledge and review” climate agreements have failed, and how carbon pricing, based on trust and reciprocity, could succeed.

    After twenty-five years of failure, climate negotiations continue to use a “pledge and review” approach: countries pledge (almost anything), subject to (unenforced) review. This approach ignores everything we know about human cooperation. In this book, leading economists describe an alternate model for climate agreements, drawing on the work of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and others. They show that a “common commitment” scheme is more effective than an “individual commitment” scheme; the latter depends on altruism while the former involves reciprocity (“we will if you will”).

    The contributors propose that global carbon pricing is the best candidate for a reciprocal common commitment in climate negotiations. Each country would commit to placing charges on carbon emissions sufficient to match an agreed global price formula. The contributors show that carbon pricing would facilitate negotiations and enforcement, improve efficiency and flexibility, and make other climate policies more effective. Additionally, they analyze the failings of the 2015 Paris climate conference.

    Contributors Richard N. Cooper, Peter Cramton, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Gollier, Éloi Laurent, David JC MacKay, William Nordhaus, Axel Ockenfels, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Steven Stoft, Jean Tirole, Martin L. Weitzman

  • Combinatorial Auctions

    Combinatorial Auctions

    Peter Cramton, Yoav Shoham, and Richard Steinberg

    A synthesis of theoretical and practical research on combinatorial auctions from the perspectives of economics, operations research, and computer science.

    With a foreword by Vernon L. Smith, recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics.

    The study of combinatorial auctions—auctions in which bidders can bid on combinations of items or "packages"—draws on the disciplines of economics, operations research, and computer science. This landmark collection integrates these three perspectives, offering a state-of-the art survey of developments in combinatorial auction theory and practice by leaders in the field.

    Combinatorial auctions (CAs), by allowing bidders to express their preferences more fully, can lead to improved economic efficiency and greater auction revenues. However, challenges arise in both design and implementation. Combinatorial Auctions addresses each of these challenges. After describing and analyzing various CA mechanisms, the book addresses bidding languages and questions of efficiency. Possible strategies for solving the computationally intractable problem of how to compute the objective-maximizing allocation (known as the winner determination problem) are considered, as are questions of how to test alternative algorithms. The book discusses five important applications of CAs: spectrum auctions, airport takeoff and landing slots, procurement of freight transportation services, the London bus routes market, and industrial procurement. This unique collection makes recent work in CAs available to a broad audience of researchers and practitioners. The integration of work from the three disciplines underlying CAs, using a common language throughout, serves to advance the field in theory and practice.

    • Hardcover $12.75
    • Paperback $35.00