Friday, June 19, 2009

Computer assisted markets

I'm giving a brief talk today on Computer Assisted Markets at the HBS Digital Economy Symposium. I plan to talk about how some of the markets I've helped design are part of the digital economy (whatever that is), at least in the sense that they are operated by computers.

I'm thinking here of labor market clearinghouses for doctors, kidney exchange, and school choice mechanisms, as well as the American Economic Association's newish coordination mechanisms for the economics job market, namely early market signaling, and a late market scramble.

I enumerate this list to emphasize that these markets use computers in a variety of different ways. The slide with which I'll begin my talk lists some of these, in increasing order of how "intensely" the market is computationally assisted:

–Markets can be run on computers (making transaction rules very well specified, and performing market operations very quickly, avoiding congestion.)
– Markets can be accessed over the internet (reducing transaction costs and increasing market thickness and scope.)
–Markets can use computers as trusted intermediaries (allowing confidential information to be entered and handled and transmitted in a trustworthy way.)
–Market outcomes can be determined by (computationally intensive) algorithms (e.g. integer programs to find optimal kidney exchanges that couldn't be found any other way).

Some markets make essential use of only some of these forms of computational assistance, and some use them all.

Here is my full set of slides: Computer Assisted Markets.pptx


Anonymous said...

Your slides seem to require an HBS account login. Any chance of posting them so they can be freely downloaded?

Frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.