Professor Wooders joined NYU Abu Dhabi in September 2016. He is the Co-Director of the Center for Behavioral Institutional Design and the Social Science Experimental Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and an Economic Theory Fellow. In 2011 he joined the University of Technology Sydney as a Distinguish Research Professor to build a newly-established economics department. In the 2015 ERA (Excellence in Research Australia) rankings, Economics at UTS ranked second in Australia. While at UTS he led the establishment of a PhD program, based on best international practices, which admitted its first cohort of students in 2014. Professor Wooders founded the UTS Behavioural Laboratory.
His research develops novel theory and combines it with data from the field and the laboratory to understand strategic behavior in games and markets.
His recent theoretical work studies the problem of efficiently and fairly allocating heterogeneous items, priorities, positions, or rights to participants who have equal claims, e.g., allocating priority of service, allocating fishing rights to different geographical areas that differ in their desirability, or reorganizing business partnerships.
His recent empirical work shows that the behavior on the court of championship tennis players conforms more closely to theory as they are more highly ranked. Earlier work with Mark Walker pioneered the use of data from professional sports as a means of testing the empirical validity of game theory. It demonstrated that the serve-and-return behavior of professional tennis players is largely consistent with the theory of mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium. (See Walker and Wooders (2001), 300+ Google Scholar cites.) In contrast, the theory fares poorly in laboratory experiments. This work is routinely cited in undergraduate textbooks when introducing students to the notion of mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium. His work with Dan Houser was the first to investigate the effect of seller reputation on auction prices. (See Houser and Wooders (2006), 900+ Google Scholar cites.)
Wooders has published in the top international journals, including Econometrica, the American Economic Review, Theoretical Economics, the Journal of Economic Theory, and as well as numerous papers in Games and Economic Behavior and other leading journals. His research is broad, spanning auction theory, communication in games, and R&D spillovers. An ongoing line of research investigates the “mini-micro” foundations of competitive equilibrium, and develops game-theoretic models of markets in which trade is decentralized. This work provides important insights into how markets for financial assets may freeze or otherwise fail.