Research that improves auctions in practice
This is a teacher’s guide for a Nobel Prize lesson – a complete lesson on the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, which is about the hunt for the perfect auction. The laureates’ contributions include the invention of new auction formats for the sale of today’s goods and services. The lesson is planned to take about 45 minutes.
A Swedish version of the lesson is available at nobelprizemuseum.se
Research on auctions
Selling something to the highest bidder, or buying something for the lowest price, is something people have been doing for thousands of years. Nowadays, auctions distribute astronomical sums of money between buyers and sellers every day. It’s not just art and furniture, but stocks and bonds, fishing rights and minerals that are sold at auction. The 2020 Economic Sciences Laureates have clarified how auctions work and invented new auction formats that are used all over the world.
Teacher's Guide (PDF 60K)
1. Warm-up (5 min)
Ask your students the following questions.
- What is the Nobel Prize?
- Why is it called the Nobel Prize?
- Are you familiar with any Nobel Laureate?
2. Show the video about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize (5 min)
3. Slideshow (15 min)
Show the slides, using the speaker's manuscript.
Slideshow (PDF 2 MB)
Speaker's Manuscript (PDF 400 Kb)
4. Show the interview with an expert in the field (5 min)
5. Student worksheet (10-15 min)
Let your students work individually with the questions and then discuss their answers with a classmate.
Student Worksheet (PDF 80 Kb)
6. Conclusion (5 min)
Summarise what you and the class have understood, and what you have not understood. You can work with the latter on another occasion.
Links for further information
Press release for the Economic Sciences Prize 2020
Learn more in the popular information about the Economic Sciences Prize 2020