MG409      Half Unit
Auctions and Game Theory

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Steinberg NAB 3.08


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Applicable Mathematics, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Management (1 Year Programme), MSc in Management and Strategy and MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 45. Students on the waiting list will be selected based on their academic background.


Students should have a course equivalent to the LSE course Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) (MA107), which covers techniques of calculus (differentiation, partial differentiation, optimisation and integration), methods of linear algebra (use of matrices), with emphasis on their application to economic problems. Students should also have some knowledge of probability.

Course content

The course provides an introduction to auctions and game theory. Topics covered are: noncooperative games, cooperative games, social choice, sequential games, auctions, and combinatorial auctions. There is also a case study, ‘Auction Vignettes’, which will form the basis of a class discussion. Finally, there will be a research presentation by the course leader.


16 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

A reading week will take place during Week 6. There will be no teaching during this week.

Formative coursework

Very full lecture notes are provided, and every week a set of problems is given out in the lecture. These are discussed in the following seminars.

Indicative reading

  • Book: P. Cramton, Y. Shoham, and R. Steinberg, eds., Combinatorial Auctions.
  • Book chapter: ‘Auction Pricing’, R. Steinberg, Chapter 27 in O. Ozer and R. Phillips, eds., Oxford Handbook of Pricing Management. 
  • Case study: ‘Auction Vignettes’, Harvard Business School Publishing.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2016/17: 35

Average class size 2016/17: 12

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

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