Gibbons Photo


Robert Gibbons

Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management and Professor of Organizational Economics, Department of Economics

MIT Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street, E62-519
Cambridge, MA 02142-1347
(617) 253-0283 (phone)
(617) 258-6786 (fax)


In Honor of David Kreps's 65th Birthday


Curriculum Vita

Perspectives on Organizational Economics

Perspectives on Organizational Culture

Naming (and Framing?) in Building an Equilibrium


Three Frameworks and Four Habits of Mind

Summer Institute at CASBS on Organizations and Their Effectiveness

MBA Course (15.903: Organizational Economics and Corporate Strategy)

Ph.D. Courses

Thesis Supervision



Seminar and Conferences



  • Game Theory for Applied Economists, Princeton University Press, 1992. (International version: A Primer in Game Theory, Harvester-Wheatsheaf.) translated into Chinese, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Handbook of Organizational Economics (with J. Roberts, eds.), Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • Organizational Economics: Foundations and Applications (with M. Powell), Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2023.



Applied Theory

  • Dissolving a Partnership Efficiently
    (with P. Cramton and P. Klemperer). Econometrica, 55 (1987): 615-32.

    Reprinted in The Economic Theory of Auctions, P. Klemperer (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (Cheltenham, U.K.), 1999.

    Reprinted in Recent Developments in the Economic Theory of Incentives, D. Martimort (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (Cheltenham, U.K.), 2017.

  • Simultaneous Signaling to the Capital and Product Markets
    (with R. Gertner and D. Scharfstein). Rand Journal of Economics, 19 (1988): 173-90.
  • Cheap Talk Can Matter in Bargaining
    (with J. Farrell). Journal of Economic Theory, 48 (1989): 221-37.

    Reprinted in Bargaining with Incomplete Information, P. Linhart, R. Radner, and M. Satterthwaite (eds.), Academic Press, 1992.

  • Cheap Talk with Two Audiences
    (with J. Farrell). American Economic Review, 79 (1989): 1214-23.
  • Cheap Talk about Specific Investments
    (With J. Farrell). Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 11 (1995): 313-34.
  • An Introduction to Applicable Game Theory
    Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11 (1997): 127-49.

    Reprinted in Readings in Applied Microeconomic Theory: Market Forces and Solutions, R. Kuenne (ed.), Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

  • Rational-Expectations Equilibrium in Intermediate Good Markets
    (With R. Holden and M. Powell). Unpublished manuscript, August 2010.

Labor Economics

  • Piece-Rate Incentive Schemes
    Journal of Labor Economics, 5 (1987): 413-29.
  • Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitration
    American Economic Review, 78 (1988): 896-912.
  • Layoffs and Lemons
    (with L. Katz). Journal of Labor Economics, 9 (1991): 351-80.

    Reprinted in Learning in Labour Markets, M. Waldman (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (Cheltenham, U.K.), 2017.

  • Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differences?
    (with L. Katz). Review of Economic Studies, 59 (1992): 515-35.
  • Getting Together and Breaking Apart: The Decline of Centralized Collective Bargaining
    (with R. Freeman). Chapter 10 in R. Freeman and L. Katz (eds.), Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, University of Chicago Press, 1995.
  • Learning and Wage Dynamics
    (with H. Farber). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111 (1996): 1007-47.

    Reprinted in Learning in Labour Markets, M. Waldman (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (Cheltenham, U.K.), 2017.

  • Incentives and Careers in Organizations
    Chapter 1 in Volume II of D. Kreps and K. Wallis (eds.), Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Careers in Organizations: Theory and Evidence
    (with M. Waldman). Chapter 36 in Volume 3B of O. Ashenfelter and D. Card (eds.), Handbook of Labor Economics, North Holland, 1999.
  • A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics in Inside Firms
    (with M. Waldman). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114 (1999): 1321-58.

    Reprinted in Personal Economics, E. Lazear and R. McNabb (eds.), Edward Elgar, 2003.

    Reprinted in Learning in Labour Markets, M. Waldman (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited (Cheltenham, U.K.), 2017.

  • Task-Specific Human Capital
    (with M. Waldman). American Economic Review, 94 (2004): 203-07.
  • Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Differences
    (with L. Katz, T. Lemieux and D. Parent). Journal of Labor Economics, 23 (2005): 681-723.
  • Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms
    (with M. Waldman). Journal of Labor Economics, 24 (2006): 59-107.


Behavioral Game Theory

  • When and Why Do Negotiators Outperform Game Theory?
    (with M. Bazerman, L. Thompson, and K. Valley). Chapter 4 in R. Stern and J. Halpern (eds.), Nonrational Elements of Organizational Decision Making, ILR Press (Ithaca, NY), 1998.
  • Contingent Social Utility in the Prisoners' Dilemma
    (with L. van Boven). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 45 (2001): 1-17.
  • How Communication Improves Efficiency in Bargaining Games
    (with M. Bazerman, L. Thompson, and K. Valley). Games and Economic Behavior, 38 (2002): 127-55.
  • Reprinted in Negotiation, Decision Making and Conflict Management, M. Bazerman (ed.), Edward Elgar, 2004.


Political Economy

  • Trust in Social Structures: Hobbes and Coase Meet Repeated Games
    Chapter 11 in K. Cook (ed.), Trust in Society, Russell Sage Foundation, 2001.
  • Hobbesean Horseraces
    (with A. Rutten). Revised draft, August 2006.


Incentive Contracts


Organizational Economics

  • Economic Theories of Incentives in Organizations
    (with J. Roberts). Chapter 2 in Handbook of Organizational Economics (R. Gibbons and J. Roberts, eds.), Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • Decisions in Organizations
    (with N. Matouschek and J. Roberts). Chapter 10 in Handbook of Organizational Economics (R. Gibbons and J. Roberts, eds.), Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • What Do Managers Do? Exploring Persistent Performance Differences Among Seemingly Similar Enterprises (with R. Henderson). Chapter 17 in Handbook of Organizational Economics (R. Gibbons and J. Roberts, eds.), Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • Relational Adaptation
    (with G. Baker and K.J. Murphy). Revised draft, November 2011. (Formerly "Contracting for Control." and "s Happens: Relational Adaptation in Contracts, Firms, and Other Governance Structures")
  • “Intervening in Organizations: Musings about (1) What an Organization Is, (2) Why Organizational Change Therefore Might Be Hard, and (3) Whether Any of This Might Matter for Applied Microeconomics.”
    Slides, March 2016.
  • “Besides Markets: Governance of Value Creation—in the economy and in the first-year core.”
    Slides, July 2017.
  • “Discord (and Repair?) in Relational Contracts.”
    Slides, April 2018.
  • “‘Culture and Institutions’ Meets ‘culture in organizations’.”
    Slides, April 2018.
  • “Organizations and Institutions: ‘Governance’ of ‘Unsolved political Problems’?”
    Slides, June 2018.


Health Care Delivery

  • “Changes in ICU Culture Associated with Changes in Bloodstream Infections”
    (with N. Beaulieu, J. Marsteller, E. Martinez, P. Pronovost, T. Wang, and S. Watson). Draft, July, 2017.

Other Links

Updated 4/20/2022