Prof. Dr. Dezsö Szalay

E-mail: szalay(at)
Phone: + 49 228 73 3926
Room: 054
Institute: Department of Economics
Research Area: Research Area I

Academic Career


Dr. rer. pol., University of Mannheim

2001 - 2002

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Mannheim

2002 - 2006

Assistant Professor, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

2006 - 2008

Assistant Professor, University of Warwick, England, UK


Associate Professor (tenured), University of Warwick, England, UK

Since 2009

Professor (W3), University of Bonn

Research Profile

I study problems of mechanism design with multiple dimensions of asymmetric information, with endogenous information, or both. In [1] and [2], information is endogenously acquired and then reported. Contracts that induce information acquisition increase the riskiness of choices. In the delegation problem in [1] this is achieved through eliminating compromising choices from an agent's choice set.
In [2], monetary payments are used to this end. In recent projects, we study information acquisition in problems of strategic information transmission.
In the taxation context studied in [3] individuals know their productivities in various jobs while the government does not. Redistribution between individuals of different abilities involves screening some individuals in and others out of the redistribution system. Ongoing work extends the techniques to the problem of technology choice for a regulated producer and to the problem of price discrimination of a multiproduct firm.

Contribution to Research Areas

Research Area I
The focus of my research is on information acquisition in games with private information. In [1], I have analyzed a communication problem where an agent needs to be given incentives to acquire information and reveal it truthfully thereafter. Due to the absence of money transfers, the optimal mechanism is a delegation mechanism where all the principal can do is to design a choice set from which the agent can choose. The optimal choice set excludes actions around the prior optimal action and thus entails a commitment to activism. In [2] I add monetary transfers and show that the commitment to activism translates into an allocation function that is more risky than for given information. In current work, I analyze information acquisition in games of strategic information transmission allowing for multiple sources of information.

Selected Publications

[1] Dezsö Szalay
The economics of clear advice and extreme options
Rev. Econom. Stud. , 72: (4): 1173--1198
[2] Dezsö Szalay
Contracts with endogenous information
Games Econom. Behav. , 65: (2): 586--625
[3] Paul Beaudry, Charles Blackorby, Dezsö Szalay
Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs
American Economic Review (99(1)): 216-242

Publication List

MathSciNet Publication List (external link)

RePEc Publication List (external link)



German Research Foundation Scholarship


Swiss Science National Foundation Scholarship


FAME Publication Award


Excellence in Refereeing Award, American Economic Review


Fellow of CEPR (Industrial Organization Programme)

Selected Invited Lectures


WZB Berlin, University of Bonn


University of Munich


ESSET Gerzensee, University College of London


ESSET Gerzensee


Gremaq Toulouse, University of Essex, University of Southampton, University of Warwick, University of Zürich, University of Grenoble


University of Warwick, University of Frankfurt


Universities of Basel, Zürich, Oxford, St. Gallen, University College of London, Max Planck Institute Bonn, ESSET Gerzensee


University of Mannheim, Carlos III University of Madrid, ESSET Gerzensee


HEC Lausanne, London Business School, University of Frankfurt, London School of Economics, ESSET Gerzensee, EIEF Rome, European University Institute Florence


Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam, UPF, University of Maastricht, PSE, Max Planck (Bonn), HECER Helsinki, Warwick, Zürich, University of Minnesota, Kellogg (Northwestern), Oxford, Munich


WZB Berlin, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Napels


Dice (Düsseldorf)


Oxford, Copenhagen




Columbia, Crest (Paris), Zürich, St. Gallen


Cambridge, University of Arizona, UPenn, University of Warwick, University of Southampton

Selected PhD students

João Viera Montez (2007): “Three Essays in Incomplete Contracts”,
now Assistant Professor, London Business School, England, UK

Inga Deimen (2016): “Essays on information and communication in Microeconomic Theory”,
now Postdoc, University of Bonn

Supervised Theses

  • Diplom theses: 12, currently 3
  • PhD theses: 7, currently 2
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