Ben Edelman


Associate Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

Ben Edelman is an Assistant Professor in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit at Harvard Business School. His current research explores the public and private forces shaping Internet architecture and business opportunities.

Professor Edelman recently has written about the implications of growing market concentration in Internet search and resulting risks for advertisers. Examining the mechanisms that allocate pay-per-click advertising, he compared the revenue of alternative pricing rules, quantifying the losses from early inefficient auction systems. He also has analyzed the stability and truth-telling properties of modern online advertising systems, and designed a simulated bidding environment to evaluate bidding strategies empirically.

In addition to his academic publications, Professor Edelman investigates and documents controversial online activities. In the area of online privacy, he uncovered unexpected transmissions by Google Toolbar, and he found Facebook disclosing certain user data to advertisers. He has also designed market mechanisms to mitigate the effects of scarcity of IPv4 addresses, and he flagged errors by Internet filtering systems in the U.S. and overseas. He frequently is sought out by traditional and online media sources for his opinions on all manner of online issues.

Professor Edelman is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Awards, Honors and Press:

  • Professor Edelman in the News.
  • Winner of 2015 Case Centre Award in the Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management Category for his case with Scott Kominers, “Online Marketing at Big Skinny” (HBS Case No. 911-033)
  • Winner of 2013 Prize in Game Theory and Computer Science from the Game Theory Society for “the best paper at the interface of game theory and computer science in the last decade” for his paper with Michael Ostrovsky and Michael Schwarz, “Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords” (American Economic Review, March 2007)
  • Recipient of 2011 Emerald Management Review Citation of Excellence Award for his paper with Michael Ostrovsky, “Strategic Bidder Behavior in Sponsored Search Auctions” (Decision Support Systems, 2007)
  • Winner of 2011 European Case Clearing House (ecch) Award in the Strategy and General Management category for his case with Thomas R. Eisenmann, “Google Inc.” (HBS Case 910-036)
  • Winner of Seymour E. and Ruth B. Harris Prize in 2002 for “The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at”
  • Winner of 2002 Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for Undergraduate Research for “The Effect of Editorial Discretion Book Promotion on Sales at”

Select Publications:


Ph.D. Economics, Harvard University
J.D., Harvard Law School
A.M. Statistics, Harvard University
A.B. Economics, Harvard College

Areas of Expertise:

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