Susan Athey, an economic theorist who has made significant contributions to the study of industrial organization, is a professor of economics at Harvard University. She also serves as chief economist at Microsoft Corporation and as a principal of Market Design, Inc., a firm that focuses on advising governments on auction design. She received her bachelor of science degree from Duke University in economics, mathematics, and computer science, and her PhD in economics from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. After teaching at MIT for six years and Stanford for five years, she moved to Harvard in 2006.
Her research focuses on auction theory, the design of auction-based markets, and the statistical analysis of auction data. She is an expert in a broad range of economic fields – including industrial organization, econometrics, and microeconomic theory – and has used game theory to examine firm strategy when firms have private information.
In 2007, Professor Athey was named the first female recipient of the American Economic Association’s prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, awarded every other year to the most accomplished American economist under the age of 40 adjudged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. On April 28, 2008, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.