Keith W Weigelt

Keith W Weigelt
  • Marks-Darivoff Family Professor Emeritus of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2112 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: compensation, corporate strategy, eastern thought, economics of sports, experimental economics, game theory, microfinancing

Links: CV


1986 – Ph.D. in Business Policy, Kellogg Graduate School, Northwestern University

1975 – M.B.A. (Marketing), Michigan State University

1973 – B.A. (Institutional Management), Michigan State University

Relevant Website:

Bridges to WealthNetter Center for Community Partnerships

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  • Keith W Weigelt, W. Bruce Allen, Neil A Doherty, Edwin Mansfield, Managerial Economics: Theory, Applications and Cases (:, 2005)

  • Keith W Weigelt and T. Ho (2005), Trust Building among Strangers, Management Science.

    Abstract: The trust-building process is basic to social science. We investigate it in a laboratory setting using a novel multistage trust game where social gains are achieved if players trust each other in each stage. In each stage, also, players have an opportunity to appropriate these gains or be trustworthy by sharing them. Players are strangers because they do not know the identity of others and they will not play them again. Thus, there is no prospect of future interaction to induce trusting behavior, and we study the trust-building process where there is little scope for social relations and networks. Standard game theory, which assumes all players are opportunistic and untrustworthy and thus should have zero trust for others, is used to construct a null hypothesis. We test whether people are trusting or trustworthy and examine how inferring the intentions of those who trust affects trustworthiness. We also investigate the effect of stake on trust, and study the evolution of trust. Results show subjects exhibit some degree of trusting behavior, although a majority of them are not trustworthy and claim the entire social gain. Players are more reluctant to trust in later stages than in earlier ones and are more trustworthy if they are certain of the trustee's intention. Surprisingly, subjects are more trusting and trustworthy when the stake size increases. Finally, we find the subpopulation that invests in initiating the trust-building process modifies its trusting behavior based on the relative fitness of trust.

  • Keith W Weigelt (2000), Production Location Choice in a Differentiated Product Market, Strategic Management Journal.

    Abstract: We test theories of product differentiation and firm capabilities using data from the U.S. automobile industry. We find managers introduce new models close to their existing ones but far from rival models. We also find entrants and foreign manufacturers locate models closer to rival models. These results are consistent with both economic models of product differentiation and theories of firm capabilities

  • Keith W Weigelt, A. Orrison, A. Schotter (Forthcoming), On the Design of Optimal Organizations Using Tournaments: An Experimental Examination.

  • Keith W Weigelt and T. Ho (1996), Task Complexity, Equilibrium Selection, and Learning, Management Science.

    Abstract: We consider several coordination games with multiple equilibria each of which is a different division of a fixed pie. Laboratory experiments are conducted to address whether "task complexity" affects the selection of equilibrium by subjects. Three measures of task complexity-cardinality of choice space, level of iterative knowledge of rationality, and level of iterative knowledge of strategy-are manipulated and tested. Results suggest the three measures can predict choice behavior. Since strategically equivalent games can have different task complexity measures, our results imply that subjects are sensitive to game form presentation. We also fit data using three adaptive learning models: 1) Cournot, 2) Fictitious Play, and 3) Payoff Reinforcement, in increasing order of required cognitive effort. The Fictitious Play model, which tracks only cumulative frequencies of opponents' past behaviors fits the data best.

  • Keith W Weigelt, A. Schotter, C. Wilson (1994), A Laboratory Investigation of Multi-Person Rationality and Presentation Effects, Games and Economic Behavior. 10.1006/game.1994.1026

    Abstract: This paper reports the results of laboratory experiments in which subjects were presented with different two-person decision problems in both their extensive and normal forms. All games generated the same equilibrium outcomes. Our results indicate that the presentation of the decision problem significantly affects the strategy chosen. Surprisingly, these presentation effects were most prominent in the simplest games where differences in presentation would seem most transparent. It appears that subjects are much more likely to use (and fear) incredible threats when the problem is presented as a one-stage rather than as a multistage game.

  • Richard A. Lambert, David Larcker, Keith W Weigelt (1993), The Structure of Organizational Incentives, Administrative Science Quarterly, (September), pp. 438-461.

    Abstract: To improve understanding and design of organizational incentives, we used confidential compensation data obtained for four distinct organizational levels (ranging from plant manager to corporate chief executive officer) to evaluate the ability of tournament, managerial power, and agency theories to explain these observed compensation data. Our results suggest that organizational incentives are most appropriately characterized by a combination of these models, rather than being completely described by a single theoretical description.

  • Richard A. Lambert, David Larcker, Keith W Weigelt (1991), How Sensitive is Compensation to Organizational Size?, Strategic Management Journal, (July), pp. 395-402.

    Abstract: Prior empirical research has documented a large cross-sectional correlation between the level of executive pay and firm size. In contrast, this paper examines the association between percentage changes in executive compensation and percentage changes in organizational size. We analyze compensation and size data for executives at several levels of the corporate hierarchy for a sample of 303 firms. Our results indicate that the correlation between compensation and size is much smaller, although still statistically significant, in changes than in levels. This suggests that changes in an executive's compensation are not primarily driven by changes in organizational size.


All Courses

  • ENVS2999 - Independent Study

    Directed study for individuals or small groups under supervision of a faculty member.

  • MGMT1980 - Special Topics in MGMT

    Courses offered of various topics and points of focus, ranging across multiple concentrations of Management, (i.e., Entrepreneurial, Strategy, Organizational Effectiveness, etc.).

  • MGMT3530 - Wharton Field Challenge

    Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of a student? Do you want to set kids on a path to becoming financially literate? Do you want to learn leadership skills in the classroom? Here at the Financial Literacy Community Project (FLCP) we are able to create an experience that achieves all three. We partner with various public schools around the West Philadelphia area and teach concepts integral to financial literacy. We teach a wide range of grades from middle school to high school, and work with students to help them learn how to be financially responsible. In addition to teaching in neighboring high schools, we also have group class meetings run by Professor Keith Weigelt on Mondays from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM. We learn about the disparity of wealth and how to best address it while also learning teaching techniques, classroom strategies, and overall basic financial literacy. A basic understanding of personal financial literacy is required.

  • MGMT4020 - Service Lrning Client Project

    MGMT 4020 builds on the foundation established by the pre-requisites in the Leadership Journey. As seniors, you will draw on the self-awareness you acquired in WH1010, the speaking skills you practiced in WH2010, and the teamwork and interpersonal skills you honed in MGMT3010. Moreover, MGMT 4020 serves as a capstone course by giving you the opportunity to work with a robust nonprofit and in order to frame the problems and address the challenges your host organization faces; in the process, you will use your creative and critical thinking skills, apply what you have learned, and reflect on your growth and development through iterative feedback and constructive coaching. As a highly experiential course, MGMT 4020 is relatively unstructured, giving you ample opportunity to demonstrate leadership by providing direction and teamwork by pulling together to deliver results for your host. MGMT 4020 will enable you to draw on your Wharton undergraduate education and apply what you have learned in a way that promises to provide real impact for your host organization and a meaningful and memorable experience for you. It is only open to Wharton seniors. In short, MGMT 4020 gives Wharton seniors the opportunity to: - Engage in a service learning and experiential course - Demonstrate leadership and work as a team on a real, host engagement - Think creatively, critically, and practically for the benefit of your host - Refine your interpersonal communication and presentation skills - Heighten your self-awareness through feedback and reflection.

  • MGMT8910 - Advanced Study-Smgt

Awards and Honors

  • Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 2005
  • Miller-Sherrerd Teaching Award, 2004
  • Wharton Graduate Association’s “Tough, but I will thank you in 5 years” Teaching Award, 2004
  • Core Class Teaching Award – Wharton, 1999
  • Core Class Teaching Award – Wharton, 1996


Latest Research

Keith W Weigelt, W. Bruce Allen, Neil A Doherty, Edwin Mansfield, Managerial Economics: Theory, Applications and Cases (:, 2005)
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