Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Milgrom Marshall Lectures at University of Cambridge

Paul Milgrom will be giving the 2019-2020 Marshall Lectures at Cambridge today and tomorrow.  Here's a video abstract by Paul:

2019-20 Marshall Lecture by Professor Paul Milgrom

Paul Milgrom is best known for his contributions to the microeconomic theory, his pioneering innovations in the practical design of multi-item auctions, and the extraordinary successes of his students and academic advisees. According to his BBVA Award citation: “Paul Milgrom has made seminal contributions to an unusually wide range of fields of economics including auctions, market design, contracts and incentives, industrial economics, economics of organizations, finance, and game theory.” According to a count by Google Scholar, Milgrom’s books and articles have received more than 90,000 citations. - Professor Milgrom's Personal Site >>

 Professor Paul Milgrom
(Stanford Department of Economics)
will give two lectures on,
"Market Design When Resource Allocation is NP-Hard"

Venue: Lady Mitchell Hall

Tuesday 19th November 2019
5.00pm to 6.00pm
Wednesday 20th November 2019
5.00pm to 6.30pm
I'll update when Paul's lectures are available.
(In the meantime, here are my 2013-2014 Marshall Lectures on "Matching Markets and Market Design )

Monday, November 18, 2019

Interview with Parag Pathak on schools, and market design

From Business Insider:
Parents choosing high schools for their kids place more value on the students already enrolled than on the school's effectiveness, according to a study by MIT economist Parag Pathak

"A solution to school matching might be attainable, but the bigger challenge remains. "It's a success in terms of matching systems getting out there," Pathak said. "But it shines a spotlight on bigger problem - the scarcity of good schools."
"The rise of "market-design economics" has attracted a new type of person to the profession, he said. "Our folks are much more humble. We really like to get our hands dirty from very real problems," he added. "The mindset is more of an engineer — how would we put those ideas to use in actually building something in society?"

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Liver Paired Exchange: Ready for Prime Time in North America?

An editorial in the November 2019 Liver Transplantation considers, among other things, how liver exchange might be more coercive than live liver donation, because real or imagined incompatibilities might no longer serve to excuse an ambivalent donor from going through with the donation. (I recall discussions like this at the outset of kidney exchange, and my sense is that, in those days, the doctors thought that they could still excuse ambivalent donors by indicating that they weren't healthy enough to donate...)

Liver Paired Exchange: Ready for Prime Time in North America?
Talia B. Baker M.D

"The evolution of kidney paired exchange (KPE) in the United States has expanded transplant options for ABO‐incompatible and human leukocyte antigen–incompatible living donor pairs.1 The success of KPE has prompted consideration of liver paired exchange (LPE). Although the idea seems promising, its application has been limited to a handful of centers in Asia.2-4
"In the United States, approximately 3,000 patients are removed from the liver waiting list each year because they become too ill or die prior to transplant.7 Although living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is established as the primary source of donor allografts in many parts of Asia, it constitutes approximately only 4% of liver transplants in the United States.7 The potential number of living donor and recipient pairs that might be suitable for LPE in the United States is unknown and largely unexplored.
"The indications for LPE are more complex than in KPE where immunological factors drive the process. In LPE, anatomical factors, such as hepatic mass (ie, graft‐to‐recipient weight ratio and percent of future liver remnant), and anatomical considerations, such as arterial and biliary variants, will also importantly be considered.
"coercion, which remains one of the greatest ethical concerns for the evaluation of any living donor, will have to be considered in a more robust manner. Concerns about coercion may be exacerbated by indirect exchanges, such as in LPE, because a reluctant or hesitant donor may no longer be able to invoke ABO incompatibility, size, or anatomical incompatibility as a reasonable and accepted way to withdraw from consideration as a living donor.9 ...
"Often, transplant centers are able to select the most willing donors based on their commitment to step forward, expressing unwavering interest and determination to donate. This system inherently allows willing, but ambivalent, donors to be excused based on objective medical measures (most commonly ABO incompatibility or anatomical issues) without having to admit their ambivalence. In contrast, LPE may remove or limit this potential by offering alternative options for exchanges, thereby inadvertently exposing or subjugating ambivalent donors. "

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Is repugnance to foie gras contagious?

The Guardian has the story from the UK, focusing on a particular restaurant, and its proprietor, who has withstood protests:

Pressure grows on British chefs after New York bans foie gras
Restaurateurs and MPs are turning against the delicacy after years of intense animal rights protests

"New York’s authorities have decided to ban shops and restaurants from selling it and campaigners want London – indeed, the whole of Britain – to follow suit.

“Banning it is a fad,” he says. “New York is just following a fad, going with the flow. If it is ethically raised, then I don’t see a problem. If they are [forcibly] fed on an industrial scale, I think that’s wrong. But the foie gras we serve comes from a family who look after their geese.”

"His stance is not one that most animal welfare campaigners agree with. Making foie gras generally relies on force-feeding ducks or geese for about two weeks, causing their livers to expand dramatically. Some farmers claim force-feeding – known as gavage – is unnecessary, but in France, where 98% of the foie gras eaten in Britain is made, a pâté can only be called foie gras if gavage is used."

Recent related post:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Controversial markets: Seminar at Pitt

I'll be speaking at Pitt today, in the experimental/behavioral seminar:

Controversial Markets

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 4940 Posvar Hall
Sponsor: Experimental/Behavioral Seminar

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Correlation Neglect in Student-to-School Matching, by Rees-Jones, Shorrer, and Tergiman

Suppose it is costly to apply to schools (perhaps because you are only allowed n applications, and have a larger set of schools you are interested in.)  Now suppose that your first choice is Yale and your second is Harvard. Should you apply to both?  How about if it is the case that, if Yale rejects you, Harvard probably will too?  That turns out to be harder for many people to figure out than you might think...

Correlation Neglect in Student-to-School Matching
Alex Rees-Jones, Ran I. Shorrer, and Chloe Tergiman

A growing body of evidence suggests that decision-makers fail to account for correlation in signals that they receive. We study the relevance of this mistake in students' interactions with school- choice matching mechanisms. In a lab experiment presenting simple and incentivized school-choice scenarios, we find that subjects tend to follow optimal application strategies when schools' admissions decisions are determined independently. However, when schools rely on a common priority — inducing correlation in their decisions — decision making suffers: application strategies become substantially more aggressive and fail to include attractive "safety" options. We document that this pattern holds even within-subject, with significant fractions of participants applying to different programs in mathematically equivalent situations that differ only by the presence of correlation. We provide a battery of tests suggesting that this phenomenon is at least partially driven by correlation neglect, and we discuss implications that arise for the design and deployment of student-to-school matching mechanisms.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Controversial markets, from kidneys to marijuana at the SF Surgical Society

This evening I'll speak at the meeting of the San Francisco Surgical Society:

November Meeting – Controversial Markets: from Kidneys to Marijuana, by Professor Alvin Roth, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Economics.
November 13 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm PST
Family Club
545 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108