Ilya R. Segal is the Roy and Betty Anderson Professor in the Department of Economics. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1999, he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Segal is a specialist in contract theory and market design. He has examined how contracts influence long-term investments -- explaining why long-term contracts are often left incomplete in complex situations even when complete contracts could have been written at a low cost. He also has demonstrated how contracting among many parties may proceed inefficiently due to the contracts' repercussions on third parties, known as "externalities." Such externalities exist, for example, among shareholders of a publicly held company, whose market value is affected by the shareholders' trading of its stock. Similar externalities arise among competing sellers of the same product and among users of the same communication technology, and in many other important instances. Segal has created a mathematical model unifying different kinds of externalities and illuminating their adverse impact on economic welfare and their implications for economic regulation.
Segal also has been working on the problem of designing auctions and pricing mechanisms. He has demonstrated how constraints on people's communication capacity restrict the efficiency of allocating many different goods. This work lies at the boundary of economics and computer science.
M.S., Applied Mathematics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1991
Ph.D., Economics, Harvard University, 1995