Paulo Somaini

Paulo Somaini
Assistant Professor, Economics
Contact Info
Fletcher Jones Faculty Scholar for 2017-2018
Academic Area: 

Research Statement

Paulo Somaini studies industrial organization, econometrics and microeconomic theory. His work shows how the behavior of agents in strategic environments can reveal their preferences and information. In "Competition and Interdependent Costs in Michigan Highway Procurement Auctions" he finds that contrary to naïve theoretical predictions, firms in Michigan did not bid more aggressively for projects closer to their competitors’ plants. He shows that firms’ response to competitive pressure reveals the extent and magnitude of the winner’s curse in this type of auctions. His most recent work analyses the assignment mechanism used to assign Kindergarten students to schools in Cambridge, MA. This work shows that while parents have strong incentives to misreport their preferences to the school district, their reports provide valuable information about how much they like each school which is useful to simulate their welfare under alternative assignment rules.

Research Interests

  • Industrial Organization
  • Econometrics
  • Microeconomics
  • Auctions
  • Mechanims


Somaini received his undergraduate education from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba and graduated summa cum laude. He went on to earn an M.A. in economics from the Universidad de San Andres, and eventually earned his PhD from Stanford University where he was awarded the Martin Lee Johnson Stanford Graduate Fellowship, in recognition of his outstanding graduate work in the field. Somaini was an assistant professor at MIT and held a visiting position at Yale before moving back to Stanford. In addition to his appointment at Stanford GSB, the professor is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Economics, Stanford University, 2012
  • MA, Economics, Universidad de San Andres, 2006
  • Lic. Economics, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, 2005

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor , Stanford GSB, 2015-present
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, MIT, 2012-15
  • Cowles Visitor, Department of Economics, Yale, 2014-15
  • Faculty Research Fellow, NBER, 2013-present

Awards and Honors

  • Fletcher Jones Faculty Scholar, 2017-2018
  • MIT SHASS Fund for the project " An Empirical Study of the Cadaveric Kidneys Allocation Mechanism, 2015-2016
  • Martin Lee Johnson Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2009-2012
  • Graduate Fellowship, Department of Economics, Stanford University, 2007-2008


Journal Articles

Nikhil Agarwal, Paulo Somaini. Econometrica. March 2018, Vol. 86, Issue 2, Pages 391-444.
Sebastian Galiani, Paulo Somaini. Latin American Economic Review. 2018, Vol. 27, Issue 5.
Paulo Somaini, Frank A. Wolak. Journal of Econometric Methods. March 12, 2015, Vol. 5, Issue 1.
Paulo Somaini, Liran Einav. The Journal of Industrial Economics. December 2003, Vol. 61, Issue 4, Pages 938-986.


Degree Courses


This is an introductory course in Industrial Organization. The goal is to provide broad general training in the field, introducing you to the central questions around imperfect competition, market structure, innovation and regulation, as well as...

Base Data and Decisions is a first-year MBA course in statistics and regression analysis. The course is taught using a flipped classroom model that combines extensive online materials with a lab-based classroom approach. Traditional lecture...


This is the base version of D&D. This course introduces the fundamental concepts and techniques for analyzing risk and formulating sound decisions in uncertain environments. Approximately half of the course focuses on probability and its...

School News

October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.