R. Preston McAfee

About R. Preston McAfee

R. Preston McAfee was the Chief Economist and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft from June 2014 until February 2018. His research has concentrated on microeconomics and industrial organization, on topics such as auctions, bundling, price discrimination, antitrust, contracting, and mechanism design. His recent research interests involve machine learning, user generated content, and exchange design, and he has recently been publishing research at the interface between microeconomics and computer science.


Dr. McAfee is a recognized expert in industrial organization, and has been hired as a consultant by the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and the Federal Trade Commission. In 1995, he advised the Federal Communications Commission on the design of auctions for spectrum to be used for personal communications services.


Dr. McAfee wrote Introduction to Economic Analysis (2007), a free, open-source text that spans both principles and intermediate microeconomics, and Competitive Solutions: The Strategist's Toolkit (2003). He has also been widely published in many journals, including ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Review of Economic Design, the International Journal of Industrial Organization, and the Journal of Public Economics. He was the editor of Economic Inquiry from 2007-12 and he served as one of four economists who edit the American Economic Review, the most prominent economics journal, for over nine years. He also helped found Theoretical Economics, a new open access journal, and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society.


Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. McAfee was Director of Strategic Technologies at Google, leading Measurement and Market Technologies. From 2007-12, he was Chief Economist, Vice President and Research Fellow at Yahoo!, where he headed the Microeconomics Group. Previously to that, he was the J. Stanley Johnson Professor of Business, Economics and Management at the California Institute of Technology, and Executive officer for the Social Sciences. Current professional activities include advisor to Rand Education; council member, Game Theory Society; founding co-editor of ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation; and member of the Board of Governors, Pardee Rand Graduate School.


Ph.D., Purdue University, 1980
M.S. (Economics), Purdue University, 1978
M.S. (Mathematics), Purdue University, 1978
B.A., University of Florida, 1976

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