Professor Todd R Kaplan
Professor of Economics
+44 (0) 1392 723237
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Professor Todd Kaplan has been a faculty member since 2000. Before that, he was a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University. He has received grants from the Nuffield Foundation, British Academy, ESRC, Leverhulme Foundation and the Israeli Science Foundation. He was a co-winner for the Economics Network 2009 e-learning award for developing teaching resources in a grant from HEFCE. His current duties include being the co-director of FEELE laboratory for experimental economics.
Nationality: USA / Israel
- Co-Director, The FEELE laboratory
BS (Caltech), MA (Minnesota), PhD (Minnesota)
- Economic theory
- Industrial organisation
- Experimental economics
Professor Kaplan has diverse research interests that span theoretical, computational and experimental economics. His theoretical work includes research on price competition, cost sharing and patent races.
In price competition, he re-examines the classic Bertrand competition model (Spanish Economic Review) and shows that the standard textbook example is wrong since it overlooks other equilibria. Another paper shows that seemingly competitive policies, such as agreeing to match a competitor's price, are in fact very anticompetitive (International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2000).
When a group shares a common production function, they must decide how to divide the costs. For instance, if two friends want to share a pizza, how do they divide the costs. This is not so easy since they must also decide what size of pizza to order and a poor rule may cause them to overspend or underspend. Todd has two publications on this topic, one in International Economic Review and the other in Journal of Mathematical Economics.
He has modelled patent races as a contest, where on the first to invent wins but all still have to pay for their research. In his model, the value of the patent varies with the expense since an earlier innovation date is worth more to the winner. He has written three papers investigating this design in the Journal of Industrial Economics (2002), International Journal of Industrial Organization (2003) and in RAND (2008).
Todd has made earlier contributions to the computational field. He has published a paper in the Mathematica Journal and two chapters in a best-selling book edited by Hal Varian. Probably his best known work is what is known as the 'Kaplan' strategy. This was a simple computer strategy that was written to compete in a double auction, a well studied environment in experimental economics which is a simplified environment of a stock exchange. It won a well advertised tournament sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute. Recently, with the introduction of computerised agents acting on the internet, this research has had a resurgence of interest.
Professor Kaplan currently has a research grant from the Nuffield Foundation for studying bidding behaviour in asymmetric auctions. He is the supervisor of Pricilla Marimo, who is studying the communication of climate change risk.
Awards and Honours
- 1990: Winner of the Santa Fe Institute's Double Auction Tournament
- 1996: Kreitman Fellowship (Israel)
- 2002: Zif Fellowship (Germany)
- 2006: Leverhulme Fellowship (UK)
- 2009: Co-winner of the Economics Network e-learning award
Conferences and invited presentations
- Meteorology Meets Social Science: Risk, Forecast and Decision (Conference organiser)
Professor Kaplan's teaching interests include microeconomics, industrial economics and game theory. He is especially interested in using classroom experiments to teach economic concepts and has recently developed an experiment to demonstrate bank runs in the classroom.