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University of Exeter Business School

Professor Todd R Kaplan

Professor Todd R Kaplan

Professor of Economics


 +44 (0) 1392 723237

 Streatham Court 0.44


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Professor Todd Kaplan is a part-time Professor specializing in Economic Theory and Behavioral Economics. He has been a faculty member since 2000. He also has a position in Economics Department at the University of Haifa. He has received grants from the Nuffield Foundation, British Academy, iFree Foundation, 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. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.

Nationality: USA / Israel


BS (Caltech), MA (Minnesota), PhD (Minnesota)


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Research interests

  • Economic theory
  • Industrial organisation
  • Experimental economics

Professor Kaplan has diverse research interests that span theoretical and experimental economics. My theoretical work has mostly centered on contests, auctions and mechanism design. While contests have been used to spur innovation since the British Parliament introduced the Longitude prize in 1714, it has become in vogue to spur innovation with both non-profit initiatives such as the X-prize and company-sponsored prizes such as one by Netfix. He has published five papers on such contests and their optimal design: Journal of Industrial Economics (2002), International Journal of Industrial Organization (2003), American Economic Review (2006), RAND (2008), Economics Letters (2010), and Review of Economic Design (2015). One work on auctions (Economic Theory, 2012) solved a problem thought intractable since Vickrey claimed so (over 40 years ago) in one of his seminal Nobel-Prize winning papers.  Todd continued this work by looking at multiple equilibria in first-price auctions (Economic Theory Bulletin, 2015). More recently, he applied asymmetric auctions to International Trade (Journal of International Economics, 2017). Due to his experience in auctions, Todd was invited to contribute a chapter on auctions to the Handbook of Game Theory (2014).

Todd’s more recent theoretical research considers someone who needs to allocate goods among individuals who can put forth efforts, but the only value of the individuals' efforts is what they imply about the individuals’ desires about the good (GEB, 2013). Related to this research, Todd published work on using voting systems to allocate goods and discovered conditions where, counter intuitively, adding a cost to voting improves welfare, Journal of Public Economics (forthcoming).

Todd also has a significant research interest in experimental and behavioural economics. Todd has a paper on Self-Serving biases in Economic Inquiry (2004), a topic for which Todd published a comment in Journal of Economic Perspectives. Todd has experimentally tested a computer recommendation system in JORS (2011). Todd’s recent publication (Economic Journal, 2012) studies under what conditions cooperation will form in a particularly difficult environment. An extension to this work is forthcoming in JEBO. Todd’s current research is to experimentally investigate bank runs. After an initial publication in European Economic Review (2014), Todd received an ISF grant to continue this path. This builds upon Todd’s theoretical work initially done as part of his PhD dissertation and published in Economic Theory (2006).

Todd also has interdisciplinary work both in Operations Research and Meteorology that involves applying experimental economics methodology to other fields.  In Meteorology, Todd worked with co-authors from the UK Met Office to examine the communication of weather risks in Met Applications (2009), Weather and Forecasting (2014), and International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (2018). In Operations Research, Todd tested the usefulness of decision support systems with experimental methods in Journal of the Operational Research Society (2011a, 2011b).

Earlier contributions were in the field of computational economics:
Mathematica Journal (1991) and two chapters in a best-selling book edited by Hal Varian (1993). In part of this, by desire to get a computer aid for game theory homework, Todd inadvertently discovered a new algorithm for finding Nash equilibria. Probably Todd’s best-known work is the “Kaplan” strategy. This was a simple computer strategy designed to compete in a simplified stock exchange. It won a well-advertised tournament by the Santa Fe Institute.

 Todd’s earlier work includes looking at how a group should divide the cost from a shared production function. For instance, how do two friends divide the costs when sharing a pizza. 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 answers this in International Economic Review (2000) and Journal of Mathematical Economics (1999). Todd also has written on such eclectic topics as steroid use in sports (Labour Economics, 2011) and gift giving (European Economic Review, 2009) both receiving significant attention from the press.

Research projects

Professor Kaplan currently has a research grant from the iFree Foundation for studying manipulation in prediction markets. He is the supervisor of Di Mu, who is studying the communication of weather warnings.

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Journal articles

Mu D, Kaplan T, Dankers R (In Press). Decisions with Weather Warnings When Waiting is an Option. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction Abstract.
Binstok N, Gould E, Kaplan T (In Press). Policies or Prejudices? an Analysis of Antisemitic and Anti-Israel Views on Social Media and Social Surveys. Journal of European Economic Association Abstract.
Kaplan TR (2023). An introduction to a critique of Bernheim & Sprenger (2020) and a response by the authors. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 107, 102123-102123.
Choo L, Kaplan TR, Zultan R (2022). Manipulation and (Mis)trust in Prediction Markets. Management Science, 68(9), 6716-6732.
Roulston M, Kaplan T, Day B, Kaivanto K (2022). Prediction-market innovations can improve climate-risk forecasts. NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, 12(10), 879-880.  Author URL.
Kaplan T, Sela A (2022). Second-Price Auctions with Private Entry Costs. Games, 13(5), 62-62. Abstract.
Fischer S, Güth W, Kaplan TR, Zultan R (2021). AUCTIONS WITH LEAKS ABOUT EARLY BIDS: ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL BEHAVIOR. Economic Inquiry, 59(2), 722-739. Abstract.
Chakravarty S, Choo L, Fonseca MA, Kaplan TR (2021). Should regulators always be transparent? a bank run experiment. European Economic Review, 136 Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (2021). Two-stage contests with preferences over style. Economic Theory, 74(4), 1141-1161.
Gyoshev SB, Kaplan TR, Szewczyk SH, Tsetsekos GP (2021). Why do investment banks buy put options from companies?. Journal of Corporate Finance, 67 Abstract.
Choo L, Kaplan TR, Zultan R (2019). Information aggregation in Arrow–Debreu markets: an experiment. Experimental Economics, 22(3), 625-652. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Ruffle BJ, Shtudiner Z (2018). Cooperation through coordination in two stages. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 154, 206-219. Abstract.
Mu D, Kaplan TR, Dankers R (2018). Decision Making with Risk-Based Weather Warnings. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 30, Part A, 59-73.
Chakravarty S, Kaplan TR, Myles G (2018). When costly voting is beneficial. Journal of Public Economics, 167, 33-42. Abstract.
Cole M, Davies R, Kaplan TR (2017). Protection in Government Procurement Auctions. Journal of International Economics, 106, 134-142. Abstract.
Brams SJ, Kaplan TR, Kilgour DM (2015). A Simple Bargaining Mechanism that Elicits Truthful Reservation Prices. Group Decision and Negotiation, 24(3), 401-413. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Zamir S (2015). Advances in Auctions. , 4(1), 381-453. Abstract.
Marimo P, Kaplan TR, Mylne K, Sharpe M (2015). Communication of uncertainty in temperature forecasts. Weather and Forecasting, 30(1), 5-22. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (2015). The optimal design of rewards in contests. Review of Economic Design Abstract.
Chakravarty S, Fonseca MA, Kaplan TR (2014). An Experiment on the Causes of Bank Run Contagions. European Economic Review, 72, 39-51.
Kaplan TR, Zamir S (2014). Multiple equilibria in asymmetric first-price auctions. Economic Theory Bulletin, 3(1), 65-77.
Navon D, Kaplan TR, Kasten R (2013). Egocentric framing--One way people may fail in a switch dilemma: Evidence from excessive lane switching. Acta psychologica, 144, 604-616.
Chakravarty S, Kaplan T (2013). Optimal allocation without transfer payments. Games and Economic Behavior, 77(1), 1-20. Abstract.
Gould ED, Kaplan TR (2013). The peer effect of Jose Canseco: a reply to J. C. Bradbury. Econ Journal Watch, 10(1), 70-86. Abstract.
Balkenborg D, Kaplan T, Miller T (2012). A simple economic teaching experiment on the hold-up problem. Journal of Economic Education, 43(4), 377-385. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Zamir S (2012). Asymmetric first-price auctions with uniform distributions: Analytic solutions to the general case. Economic Theory, 50(2), 269-302. Abstract.
Kaplan TR (2012). Communication of preferences in contests for contracts. Economic Theory, 51(2), 487-503. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Ruffle BJ (2012). Which Way to Cooperate. Economic Journal, 122(563), 1042-1068. Abstract.
Balkenborg D, Ishizaka A, Kaplan T (2011). Does AHP help us make a choice? - an experimental evaluation. JORS (Journal of the Operations Research Society), 62, 1801-1812.
Balkenborg D, Ishizaka A, Kaplan T (2011). Influence of aggregation and measurement scale on ranking a compromise alternative in AHP. JORS (Journal of the Operations Research Society), 62(4), 700-710. Abstract.
Gould ED, Kaplan TR (2011). Learning unethical practices from a co-worker: the peer effect of Jose Canseco. Labour Economics, 18(3), 338-348. Abstract.
Balkenborg D, Kaplan T, Miller T (2011). Teaching Bank Runs with Classroom Experiments. The Journal of Economic Education, 42(3), 224-242. Abstract.
Kilgour DM, Brams SJ, Kaplan TR (2011). Three procedures for inducing honesty in bargaining. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 170-176. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Sela A (2010). Effective contests. Economics Letters, 106(1), 38-41. Abstract.
Balkenborg D, Kaplan T (2010). Using Economic Classroom Experiments. International Review of Economics Education, 9(2), 99-106. Abstract.
Chakravarty S, Kaplan TR (2010). Vote or Shout. The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 10(1). Abstract.
Roulston M, Kaplan TR (2009). A laboratory-based study of understanding of uncertainty in 5-day site-specific temperature forecasts. Meteorological Applications, 16(2), 237-244.
Kaplan TR, Ruffle BJ (2009). In Search of Welfare-Improving Gifts. European Economic Review, 53(4), 445-460.
Cohen C, Kaplan TR, Sela A (2008). Optimal rewards in contests. RAND Journal of Economics, 39(2), 434-451. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (2006). Caps on Political Lobbying: Comment. American Economic Review, 96(4), 1351-1354.
Kaplan TR (2006). Why Banks Should Keep Secrets. Economic Theory, 27(2), 341-357.
Brams SJ, Kaplan TR (2004). Dividing the indivisible - Procedures for allocating cabinet ministries to political parties in a parliamentary system. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 16(2), 143-173. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Ruffle B (2004). The Self-Serving Bias and Beliefs about Rationality. Economic Inquiry, 42(2), 237-246.
Kaplan T, Luski I, Wettstein D (2003). Government policy towards multi-national corporations. Economics Bulletin, 6(1). Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Luski I, Wettstein D (2003). Innovative activity and sunk cost. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 21(8), 1111-1133. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Luski I, Sela A, Wettenstein D (2002). All-Pay Auctions with Variable Rewards. Journal of Industrial Economics, 50(4), 417-430.
Kaplan TR (2000). Effective price-matching: a comment. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 18(8), 1291-1294. Abstract.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (2000). Surplus Sharing with a Two-Stage Mechanism. International Economic Review, 41(2), 339-409.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (2000). The Possibility of Mixed-Strategy Equilibria with Constant-Returns-to-Scale Technology under Bertrand Competition. Spanish Economic Review, 2(1), 65-71.
Kaplan TR, Wettstein D (1999). Cost Sharing: Efficiency and Implementation. Journal of Mathematical Economics, 32(4), 489-502.
Kaplan TR, Ruffle BJ (1998). Self-serving bias. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES, 12(2), 243-244.  Author URL.
Kaplan TR, Dickhaut J (1992). A Program for Finding Nash Equilibria. The Mathematica Journal, 1(4), 87-93.


Kaplan TR, Zamir S (2015). Chapter 7 Advances in Auctions. In  (Ed) , Elsevier, 381-453.
Kaplan TR, Dickhaut J (1993). A Program for Finding Nash Equilibria. In Varian HR (Ed) Economic and Financial Modeling with Mathematica, Springer.
Kaplan TR, Mukherji A (1993). Designing an Incentive-Compatible Contract. In Varian HR (Ed) Economic and Financial Modeling with Mathematica, Springer-Verlag. Abstract.


Balkenborg D, Kaplan T (2009). Economic Classroom Experiments., the Economics Network.

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External Engagement and Impact

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

External positions

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.

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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.



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