Sarah Auster How Do People Make Timing Decisions in Situations Where They Have Little Experience and Insufficient Data?

Sarah Auster is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Microeconomics at the University of Bonn. Having completed her PhD at the European University Institute, Auster previously worked at Bocconi University and the University of Mannheim. Her main research interests include contract theory, decision theory and mechanism design and search. Winner of the 2015 Vilfredo Pareto prize, Auster’s work has been published in journals including Theoretical Economics and the Journal of Economic Theory.

Area of Research

Decision Theory

since 2020

Associate Professor

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) (more details)

Institute for Microeconomics


Assistant Professor

University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

Department of Economics


Assistant Professor

Bocconi University (Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi)

Department of Decision Sciences


Ph.D. in Economics

European University Institute


Diploma in Economics

University of Würzburg (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg)

- American Economic Journal: Microeconomics

- B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics

- Decisions in Economics and Finance

- Econometrica

- Theoretical Economics

- Journal of the European Economic Association

© University of Bonn

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

Bonn is one of the large universities in Germany, with around 36,000 students, 550 professors, 6,500 other staff staff. It offers a wide disciplinary spectrum comprising some 200 different degree programmes, from Agricultural Science to Tibetan Studies. This diversity is what characterizes Bonn as a full-range university with a strong international orientation. In many international university rankings Bonn is placed among the 100 best universities in the world.Its academic and research profile features internationally renowned specializations in the fields of Mathematics, Physics/Astronomy, Economics, Chemistry, Pharma Research, Biosciences, Genetic Medicine, Neurosciences and Philosophy/Ethics. Other disciplines, such as Geography and Law, are of outstanding importance within the German research scene.

The Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is rooted in a long tradition going back almost 200 years. It was founded in 1818 by Friedrich-Wilhelm III, the Prussian king whose name it bears. Imbued with the spirit of Wilhelm von Humboldt, the university quickly joined the circle of Germany's most distinguished universities and became a major pole of attraction for leading scholars as well as students.The list of famous professors ranges from the astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander (1799-1875), through the chemist August Kekulé von Stradonitz (1829–1896) and political economist Josef Schumpeter (1883–1950) to the philologist Ernst Robert Curtius (1886–1956) and the theologists Karl Barth (1886–1968) and Joseph Ratzinger (born 1927), now Pope Benedict XVI. Bonn's best-known students include Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Konrad Adenauer.

The university is proud of a long list of award-winning scientists and scholars, with about twenty Leibniz Prize winners and around thirty ERC grantees. In the last three decades two professors have received the Nobel Prize: Wolfgang Paul (for Physics, 1989) and Reinhard Selten (for Economics, 1994). (Source: University of Bonn)


The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) TR 224 – EPoS

The Collaborative Research Center (CRC) TR 224 – EPoS is a cooperation between the University of Bonn and the University of Mannheim. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), it aims to analyze and provide policy proposals that address three key societal challenges: how to promote equality of opportunity; how to regulate markets in light of the internationalization and digitalization of economic activity; and how to safeguard the stability of the financial system.


Individuals and governments often do not have as much time or experience as they would like when they need to make a decision. In this video, SARAH AUSTER explores the mechanism by which such decisions are made. Building a game theoretical model that draws on auction theory and decision theory, Auster’s work shows that certain forms of auction design favor the seller and that supplementary information provided to bidders can help to level the playing field. Auster’s continuing research on timing decisions will examine the role played by degrees of certainty around the “stopping payoff”.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Robust Bidding and Revenue in Descending Price Auctions

  • Sarah Auster and Christian Kellner
  • Journal of Economic Theory
  • Published in 2020
Sarah Auster and Christian Kellner. "Robust Bidding and Revenue in Descending Price Auctions." Journal of Economic Theory (2020): 105072. doi:10.1016/j.jet.2020.105072.