Paulo Somaini

Associate Professor, Economics
+1 (650) 723-6451

Paulo Somaini

Associate Professor of Economics

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
  • Mechanism Design


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

  • Associate Professor, Economics, Stanford GSB, 2019–present
  • Assistant Professor, Economics, Stanford GSB, 2015–2019
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, MIT, 2012–2015
  • Cowles Visitor, Department of Economics, Yale, 2014–2015
  • Faculty Research Fellow, NBER, 2013–present

Awards and Honors

  • Fletcher Jones Faculty Scholar for 2018–19
  • Fletcher Jones Faculty Scholar for 2017–18
  • 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, Itai Ashlagi, Michael A. Rees, Paulo Somaini, Daniel Waldinger
January 2021 Vol. 89 Issue 1 Pages 37–76
Paulo Somaini
Journal of Political Economy
October 2020 Vol. 128 Issue 10 Pages 3820–3871
Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Paulo Somaini, Daniel Waldinger
American Economic Association: Papers and Proceedings
May 2018 Vol. 108 Pages 341-347
Nikhil Agarwal, Paulo Somaini
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
January 2016 Vol. 5 Issue 1 Pages 143-152
Paulo Somaini, Liran Einav
The Journal of Industrial Economics
December 2013 Vol. 61 Issue 4 Pages 938-986

Working Papers

Nikhil Agarwal , Paulo Somaini August 26, 2021
Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Michael Rees, Paulo Somaini, Daniel Waldinger December 10, 2019

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