Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Me and market design, in Forbes

Susan Adams in the August Forbes magazine (but online now) has a nice article about me and market design called (maybe for search engine reasons)" Un-Freakonomics: A Harvard professor uses economics to save lives, assign doctors and get kids into the right high school."

Here's the sentence I liked best:
"Leaning over a cup of Turkish coffee at a cafe across the Charles River from his messy journal-strewn corner office, he bends over backward to give credit to his younger protégés, students and coauthors. "Market design is a team sport," he insists."

If you want to see me bend over backwards while leaning over a cup of coffee, we'll have to have a cup of coffee:) But seriously, Ms. Adams got that part very right--lots of people have to do lots of things before a new marketplace is designed, adopted, and implemented. I'm very lucky in my colleagues.

The article title might suggest I have some sort of quarrel with Freakonomics, but that's not the case, although my work is very different. I recall reading Freakonomics and being full of admiration for the way it brought Steve Levitt's work to a general audience. I wouldn't mind doing that someday with market design, and maybe Ms. Adam's generous article will be a step towards making market design known to a wider public.

And it came with a picture:)

Update: the story also drew a nice line from Alex Tabarrok at MR, that would make a good blurb for a book, in a post titled Al Roth: Entrepreneurial Economist. Now I just have to write a book...

Further updates: Freakonomics chipped in too, with a post called A Real-World Economist, and Faculty Lounge with a post called Market Designer. Other posts are further out: check out the photoshopped picture of me atop Paul Simon's body at Economists Do It With Models, and some good wishes in Spanish.

1 comment:

Troy Camplin said...

Hey, can you assign Ph.D.s in the humanities? I'm pretty sure I could be better placed than I am -- working night audit at a hotel. :-)