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Peter A. Coles  

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Peter Coles is a member of the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. Peter's research focuses on entrepreneurial market design - the study of creating for-profit marketplaces. Such marketplaces often require innovations (market rules, information flows, timing adjustments, reputation mechanisms) to resolve longstanding inefficiencies (lack of market thickness, adverse selection, high transaction costs, etc). These innovations can create significant value for market participants, and at the same time offer a promising business model for the entrepreneur.

Peter has recently written cases on prediction markets at Google, strategy at Microsoft's adCenter, the market for carbon credits, pricing and the "market ecosystem" at, and on numerous other topics. Current projects include the design of a prediction market for drug clinical trials, as well as implementation and analysis of the American Economics Association signaling mechanism, a service intended to streamline the job market for new economists. Peter works with companies in a variety of fields, helping managers develop their marketplace strategy and navigate negotiation challenges.

Peter teaches "The Online Economy: Strategy and Entrepreneurship," a second year course at Harvard Business School he developed along with Professor Ben Edelman. Peter also teaches a doctoral course called "Market Design and Electronic Marketplaces" in the Harvard Economics Department. Prior to this, Peter taught the core negotiation class at Harvard Business School. Also at HBS, Peter convenes a periodic Market Design Workshop, in which practitioners and academics get together to share insights in the functioning of marketplaces.

Peter received his A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University and his PhD in economics from Stanford University.

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