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Professor Robin Mason

Professor Robin Mason

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Professor of Economics

2258

Building:One 3.06

Robin Mason joined the University of Exeter Business School as Professor of Economics in 2009, having previously been the Eric Roll Professor of Economics and Head of Economics at the University of Southampton. He gained his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of the CEPR and a Reporting Panel Member and a Specialist Member on the Communications Act Panel of the Competition Commission. His academic research concentrates on how firms respond strategically to uncertainty; and, more broadly, the incentives faced by economic agents in situations when they have imperfect information about their environment. While his research is theoretical in nature, it is motivated by the applied problems that he encounters while advising regulators and companies. In particular, much of his work is based on situations he has encountered when thinking about the communications and media industries. He has acted as advisor to a number of regulators, in both the UK and internationally, to the Prime Minister of Mauritius on competition policy, and a number of private-sector companies.

Nationality: UK / Canadian

Qualifications

BA, PhD (Cantab), MA (Oxon)

Links

Research

Research interests

  • Applied microeconomic theory
  • Industrial organisation
  • Uncertainty and learning

Professor Mason's research interests lie in applied microeconomics, and industrial organisation in particular. His research has two major themes.

The first is optimal stopping problems, which include a range of economic problems such as investment under uncertainty, job search with variable employment opportunities, and selling with unknown demand. In all of these situations, an economic agent faces a trade-off between exploration - waiting for better information in the future - and exploitation - taking what is available now. Crucially, in many of these situations, the economic agent is able to influence the amount of information it receives: it can experiment as it explores. The first stages of this research programme are funded by the ESRC.

The second theme of Professor Mason's research is concerned with understanding situations of economic relevance that have indeterminate outcomes. More precisely, when do economic models have a definite (unique) prediction about how economic agents will behave, and when are they able only to say that a number of outcomes are possible? Professor Mason's work has established sufficient conditions on economic interactions to ensure that there is a definite prediction from economic models. His work has highlighted the role of dynamics, and heterogeneity between economic agents.

Research projects

Professor Mason currently supervises three PhD students, working in a range of areas dealing with incentives and information and learning. This is also the area of focus for his current work, funded by the ESRC.

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Mason R, Valimaki J (2011). Learning about the arrival of sales. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC THEORY, 146(4), 1699-1711. Author URL.  Full text.
Mason R, Weeds H (2010). Investment, Uncertainty and Pre-emption. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 28(3), 278-287. Abstract.  Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Mason R, Välimäki J (2015). Getting it done: Dynamic incentives to complete a project. Journal of the European Economic Association, 13(1), 62-97. Abstract.  Full text.
Mason RA, Weeds H (2013). Merger Policy, Entry, and Entrepreneurship. European Economic Review, 57, 23-38. Abstract.
Mason R, Valimaki J (2011). Learning about the arrival of sales. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC THEORY, 146(4), 1699-1711. Author URL.  Full text.
Mason R, Weeds H (2010). Investment, Uncertainty and Pre-emption. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 28(3), 278-287. Abstract.  Full text.
Lee IH, Mason R (2008). Uncertainty, co-ordination and path dependence. Journal of Economic Theory, 138(1), 262-287. Abstract.
Mason R, Karp L, Lee IH (2007). A Global Game with Strategic Substitutes and Complements. Games and Economic Behavior, 60(1), 155-175.
Mason R (2006). Simple Competitive Internet Pricing. European Economic Review, 44(4-6), 1045-1056. Author URL.
Antoniadis P, Courcoubetis C, Mason R (2004). Comparing economic incentives in peer-to-peer networks. Computer Networks, 46(1), 133-146. Abstract.
Mason R (2004). Dividends, Safety and Liquidation when Liabilities are Long-term and Stochastic. European Economic Review, 48(6), 1179-1210. Author URL.
Mason R, Swanson T (2003). A Kuznets Curve Analysis of Ozone-depleting Substances and the Montreal Protocol. Oxford Economic Papers, 55(1), 1-24. Author URL.
Mason R (2002). Cost-raising Strategies in a Symmetric, Dynamic Duopoly. Journal of Industrial Economics, 50(3), 317-336. Author URL.
Mason R, Swanson T (2002). The Costs of Uncoordinated Regulation. European Economic Review, 46(1), 143-167. Author URL.
Mason R, Valletti T (2001). Competition in Communication Networks: Pricing and Regulation. OxfordReview of Economic Policy, 17(3), 389-415. Author URL.
Mason R, Lee IH (2001). Market Structure in Congestible Markets. European Economic Review, 45(4-6), 809-818. Author URL.
Mason R, Cave M (2001). The Economics and Regulation of the Internet. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 17(2), 188-210. Author URL.
Mason R, Wright S (2001). The Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Consumption. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 25(1-2), 185-212. Author URL.
Cave M, Mason R (2001). The economics of the Internet: Infrastructure and regulation. OXFORD REVIEW OF ECONOMIC POLICY, 17(2), 188-201. Author URL.
Mason R, Gibbens R, Steinberg R (2000). Internet Service Classes under Competition. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 18(12), 2490-2498. Author URL.
Mason R (2000). Network Externalities and the Coase Conjecture. European Economic Review, 44(10), 1981-1992. Author URL.
Mason R (1998). An Options-Based Model of Equilibrium Credit Rationing. Journal of Corporate Finance, 4(1), 71-85.
Mason R (1998). Internet Telephony and the International Accounting Rate System. Telecommunications Policy, 22(11), 931-944.
Swanson TM, Mason R (1998). Non-bargaining in the Shadow of Law. International Review of Law and Economics, 18(2), 121-140.
Mason R (1996). A Game Theoretic Analysis of International Environmental Pollution. Risk, Decision and Policy, 1(1), 33-56.
Mason R, Swanson TM (1996). ‘Long-term Liability and the Choice of Liquidation. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, 1(21), 204-223.
Mason R (1995). Joint Implementation and the Second Sulphur Protocol. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 4(4), 296-303.
Fries S, Mason R, Perraudin W (1993). Evaluating Deposit Insurance for Japanese Banks. Journal of the Japanese and International Economy, 1(7), 356-386.

Chapters

Mason R (1998). The Analysis of Market and Regulatory Failure. In Swanson R, Vighi M (Eds.) The Regulation of Persistent Chemicals: Economics, Institutions and Environmental Toxicology, Cambridge University Press.
Mason R (1996). Market Failure and Environmental Degradation. In Swanson TM (Ed) The Socio-Economic Causes of Environmental Degradation, London: John Wiley.

Conferences

Mason R (2004). A Year under Ofcom. Beesley Lecture on Regulation.  Author URL.
Mason RA (2000). Simple competitive Internet pricing. Royal-Society Discussion Meeting on Network Modelling in the 21st Century. 6th - 7th Dec 1999. Abstract.

Publications by year


In Press

Mason R, Valimaki J (In Press). Dynamic Moral Hazard and Project Completion.
Mason R, Valentinyi A (In Press). The Existence and Uniqueness of Monotone Pure Strategy Equilibrium in Bayesian Games.

2015

Mason R, Välimäki J (2015). Getting it done: Dynamic incentives to complete a project. Journal of the European Economic Association, 13(1), 62-97. Abstract.  Full text.

2013

Mason RA, Weeds H (2013). Merger Policy, Entry, and Entrepreneurship. European Economic Review, 57, 23-38. Abstract.
Mason R, Weeds H (2013). Merger policy, entry, and entrepreneurship. EUROPEAN ECONOMIC REVIEW, 57, 23-38. Author URL.

2011

Mason R, Valimaki J (2011). Learning about the arrival of sales. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC THEORY, 146(4), 1699-1711. Author URL.  Full text.

2010

Mason R, Weeds H (2010). Investment, Uncertainty and Pre-emption. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 28(3), 278-287. Abstract.  Full text.

2008

Lee IH, Mason R (2008). Uncertainty, co-ordination and path dependence. Journal of Economic Theory, 138(1), 262-287. Abstract.

2007

Mason R, Karp L, Lee IH (2007). A Global Game with Strategic Substitutes and Complements. Games and Economic Behavior, 60(1), 155-175.

2006

Mason R (2006). Simple Competitive Internet Pricing. European Economic Review, 44(4-6), 1045-1056. Author URL.

2004

Mason R (2004). A Year under Ofcom. Beesley Lecture on Regulation.  Author URL.
Antoniadis P, Courcoubetis C, Mason R (2004). Comparing economic incentives in peer-to-peer networks. Computer Networks, 46(1), 133-146. Abstract.
Mason R (2004). Dividends, Safety and Liquidation when Liabilities are Long-term and Stochastic. European Economic Review, 48(6), 1179-1210. Author URL.

2003

Mason R, Swanson T (2003). A Kuznets Curve Analysis of Ozone-depleting Substances and the Montreal Protocol. Oxford Economic Papers, 55(1), 1-24. Author URL.

2002

Mason R (2002). Cost-raising Strategies in a Symmetric, Dynamic Duopoly. Journal of Industrial Economics, 50(3), 317-336. Author URL.
Mason R, Swanson T (2002). The Costs of Uncoordinated Regulation. European Economic Review, 46(1), 143-167. Author URL.

2001

Mason R, Valletti T (2001). Competition in Communication Networks: Pricing and Regulation. OxfordReview of Economic Policy, 17(3), 389-415. Author URL.
Mason R, Lee IH (2001). Market Structure in Congestible Markets. European Economic Review, 45(4-6), 809-818. Author URL.
Mason R, Cave M (2001). The Economics and Regulation of the Internet. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 17(2), 188-210. Author URL.
Mason R, Wright S (2001). The Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Consumption. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 25(1-2), 185-212. Author URL.
Cave M, Mason R (2001). The economics of the Internet: Infrastructure and regulation. OXFORD REVIEW OF ECONOMIC POLICY, 17(2), 188-201. Author URL.

2000

Mason R, Gibbens R, Steinberg R (2000). Internet Service Classes under Competition. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 18(12), 2490-2498. Author URL.
Mason R (2000). Network Externalities and the Coase Conjecture. European Economic Review, 44(10), 1981-1992. Author URL.
Mason RA (2000). Simple competitive Internet pricing. Royal-Society Discussion Meeting on Network Modelling in the 21st Century. 6th - 7th Dec 1999. Abstract.

1998

Mason R (1998). An Options-Based Model of Equilibrium Credit Rationing. Journal of Corporate Finance, 4(1), 71-85.
Mason R (1998). Internet Telephony and the International Accounting Rate System. Telecommunications Policy, 22(11), 931-944.
Swanson TM, Mason R (1998). Non-bargaining in the Shadow of Law. International Review of Law and Economics, 18(2), 121-140.
Mason R (1998). The Analysis of Market and Regulatory Failure. In Swanson R, Vighi M (Eds.) The Regulation of Persistent Chemicals: Economics, Institutions and Environmental Toxicology, Cambridge University Press.

1996

Mason R (1996). A Game Theoretic Analysis of International Environmental Pollution. Risk, Decision and Policy, 1(1), 33-56.
Mason R (1996). Market Failure and Environmental Degradation. In Swanson TM (Ed) The Socio-Economic Causes of Environmental Degradation, London: John Wiley.
Mason R, Swanson TM (1996). ‘Long-term Liability and the Choice of Liquidation. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, 1(21), 204-223.

1995

Mason R (1995). Joint Implementation and the Second Sulphur Protocol. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 4(4), 296-303.

1993

Fries S, Mason R, Perraudin W (1993). Evaluating Deposit Insurance for Japanese Banks. Journal of the Japanese and International Economy, 1(7), 356-386.

Awards and Honours

    • 2008-10: Economic and Social Research Council Research Grant
    • 2006-08: Co-investigator on Grid Economics and Business Models funded by EU FP6 Project Reference: 033634
    • 2005-10: Co-investigator on Market-based control of complex computational systems funded by EPSRC
    • 2002-05: Economic and Social Research Council Research Fellowship; rated outstanding
    • 2000-01: Competition Models of Internet Charging Schemes, as part of the m3i project, funded by British Telecom and EU RTD Project No IST-1999-11429
    • 1994-95: An Economic Approach to the Problem of Toxic Waste, funded by the European Commission
    • 1993-94: Economic Analysis for Environmental Toxicology, funded by the European Science Foundation

  • External positions

      • Member of the Competition Commission
      • Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Policy Research
      • Member of the ESRC Research Grants Board; Chair of the First Grants Board 2009-2010
      • Associate editor of the Journal of Industrial Economics

  • All areas of microeconomics and industrial organisation
  • Strategy and games

Professor Mason has taught at all levels - from first year undergraduates to advanced PhD-level courses, MBAs, executives and civil servants. And he has taught a very wide range of topics, including introductory statistics, macroeconomic principles, microeconomics of all sorts, and advanced game theory.

Professor Mason says he sees teaching "as an essential activity for an academic. Universities do two things: research and teaching; it is the combination of the two that distinguishes universities from think tanks and schools. I find that teaching forces me to be clear in my own mind about the basics of the subject. I like students who are not afraid to ask obvious questions; often, they are the ones that are the most fundamental."

Taught modules

Modules

2015/16