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Harry Pei wins NSF CAREER Award

Economist will use the grant to support his research on game theory

Economist Harry Pei has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Pei is an assistant professor of economics at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences whose research focuses on game theory. He will receive $462,400 over five years from NSF’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences to hire and mentor research assistants.

“I’m grateful and honored to receive this award from the NSF to support the department’s graduate research program,” Pei said. “The program will help graduate students to explore new ideas for research, develop their papers and help me to improve my own research papers.”

Harry Pei
Harry Pei

Pei’s research focuses on various aspects of game theory, especially dynamic games and incomplete information games.

Dynamic games is a branch of economic theory that studies the interactions of economic agents over time, which can help to explain competition between firms, collaboration between business partners or negotiations between an employer and the labor union. 

His recent work, an example of dynamic games, examines whether societies can sustain socially desirable outcomes when individuals have limited information about the past behaviors of their trading partners. This line of research may advance our understanding of historic economic phenomena, such as long-distance trade in medieval Europe and is also relevant to transactions in online marketplaces in our modern economy.

The prestigious CAREER Award supports early-career faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through the combination of outstanding research and education with the potential to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Pei’s plans include hosting a one-day conference at Northwestern and supporting conference travel for student researchers to present their papers for feedback.