Peter Cramton How Can We Eliminate Traffic Congestion in Urban Centers?

Peter Cramton is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne and Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. Having completed his doctoral research at Stanford University, Professor Cramton has also previously worked at Yale University. His main research interests include Market Design, Auction Theory and Practice and Industrial Organization. Among the world’s leading authorities on spectrum auctions, Professor Cramton regularly advises governments and participants on the design, implementation and operation of such auctions. The founder of Cramton Associates, he is also a director and chief economist at several companies.

Area of Research

Auction Theory and Practice, Bargaining Theory, Dispute Resolution, Incentives, Contract Theory, Game Theory, Decision Theory, Labor Economics, Industrial Organization, Experimental Economics, Information Economics, Law and eEconomics

since 2018

Professor of Economics

University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) (more details)

Department of Economics

since 1996

Professor of Economics

University of Maryland

Department of Economics

since 2017

Research Affiliate

Reinhard Selten Institute (RSI)

since 2008

Faculty Affiliate

University of Maryland

Agriculture and Resource Economics


Professor of Economics

European University Institute

Deparatment of Economics


Doctor of Philosophy

Stanford University

Graduate School of Business


Bachelor of Science

Cornell University

School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering

- Management Science, Associate Editor (2018-present)

- Journal of Industrial Economics, Associate Editor (1998-2007)

- Econometric Society

- American Economic Association

- Society for Economic Analysis

- Society for the Promotion of Economic Theory


- Winner of the Utah Winter Finance Conference Best Paper Award (2015)


- Resident Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation, Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy (2007)

- Hoover National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (1992-93)

- “Testbed Experiments for CRP Auction Design,” US Department of Agriculture, September 2013 to September 2018

- “Design and Experimental Testing of Land Use Mechanisms: Auctions and Coexistence,” US Department of Agriculture, June 2015 to September 2017

- “Common Value Auctions with Liquidity Needs,” National Science Foundation, September 2009 to August 2013

- “Dynamic Matching Mechanisms,” National Science Foundation, August 2005 to July 2008

- etc.

© Thomas Josek

University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln)

Founded in 1388, the University of Cologne (UoC) is the second oldest German university. Its heritage goes hand in hand with a thoroughly modern outlook. The UoC is one of the leading German research universities with an increasing international reach. In 2012 the University won substantial funding in the German Excellence Initiative and is now one of eleven German Excellence Universities. The UoC has a culture which supports individual research as well as medium and large scale collaborative projects. Our flexible approach allows us to reward individual excellence, develop promising fields, build up critical mass and embrace emerging new fields. Research is conducted in our six faculties and in a number of cross-faculty research centers. We are firmly committed to the advancement of fundamental research and have particular strengths in our six competence areas: Aging and demographic change, Social and economic behavior, Quantitative modeling of complex systems, Cultures and societies in transition, Social inequalities and intercultural education and Plant sciences. (Source: University of Cologne)


As well as resulting in frustration for drivers, traffic congestion leads to significant economic costs. In this video, PETER CRAMTON argues that a properly implemented road pricing system can enable us to eliminate traffic congestion in urban areas. The study explains that once road usage is accurately measured, principles of market design can be used to develop and implement a highly efficient pricing system with benefits for all. Addressing concerns around equity and privacy, Cramton’s work suggests that the large scale benefits of road pricing, enhanced both by the availability and diminishing cost of relevant technologies, make its introduction virtually inevitable.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Set Road Charges in Real Time to Ease Traffic

  • Peter Cramton, R. Richard Geddes and Axel Ockenfels
  • Nature
  • Published in 2018
Peter Cramton, R. Richard Geddes and Axel Ockenfels. "Set Road Charges in Real Time to Ease Traffic." Nature 560 (2018): 23-25. doi:doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05836-0.