Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gazumping in England: repugnant and soon to be illegal?

When does a contract to sell a home become binding? That may be about to change in England. The Telegraph has the story.
Relief for home buyers as the Government may ban 'gazumping' 

"Gazumping could be banned by the Government, as it has emerged that officials have held private meetings with industry to discuss bringing forward the point at which house sales become legal, in line with Scotland.

"The radical move would prevent millions of British housing sales falling through as 18pc, or around 200,000 transactions collapse each year.

"A major reason is a plague of buyers outbidding others who have already put down an offer, a practice commonly known as "gazumping".

"It causes frustration and disappointment for buyers who think they have secured their dream home, only to find they lose it overnight to someone with more cash. It also routinely leaves frustrated would-be-buyers paying for bills for surveying and legal fees which can run into thousands of pounds, providing a further kick in the teeth.
"The meeting was used in part to discuss the idea of introducing to Britain the system which already exists in Scotland and in other countries in Europe, under which property sales are legally binding at the point where an offer is accepted by the buyer.

"At present deals made in Britain are only binding once the contracts have been exchanged, giving buyers with big deposits ample chance to "gazump".

While this Scottish-style system could make life much easier for buyers of British homes, experts predicted it would be very unpopular with sellers and could even put them off moving house. "

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The market for Ph.D.'s, in the survey of earned doctorates

A report on the survey of earned doctorates is out, with data from 2014:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Immigration to the U.S. since 1820 (animated graphic)

Click on the link below for the animated graphic (which I couldn't figure out how to embed).
Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration (1 dot = 10,000 people)

Friday, May 27, 2016

School choice in NYC middle schools has some catching up to do

While highschools in NYC have a carefully designed school choice system, elementary and middle school choice is more chaotic. Lots of middle schools will only admit children who rank them first, but that is now changing in some Brooklyn schools.

Chalkbeat has the story: Some of Brooklyn’s most sought-after middle schools will no longer see how applicants rank them

"Parents and experts have long lobbied for that change because they say the current system forces families to fill out their applications strategically, while often penalizing those who list their true preferences. Because the top middle schools in District 15 — which includes Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Sunset Park — each receive hundreds of applications, they generally only consider students who rank them first or second.
“For years, families have felt as though their options were limited to two top schools on their applications,” District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop said in a letter to parents Wednesday announcing the change. They “have felt as though they need to be strategic, rather than honest in their ranking of choices.”
"The middle school admissions process varies across the city, but most districts currently use “blind ranking” systems that do not show schools where they were listed on a student’s application. The citywide high school admissions process also works that way.
"Beginning in fall 2017, District 15 will join the three-quarters of districts that do not show middle schools how applicants ranked them. (Seven of the city’s 32 school districts will continue to share the rankings with middle schools.)

"A process in which schools see who ranks who further entrenches already entrenched inequities,” said said Neil Dorosin, executive director of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice, who helped design New York City’s high school admissions system. “That’s just fundamentally unfair and wrong.”

"M.S. 839, a new middle school in the district, uses a random admissions lottery. For that reason, some parents automatically rank the school third so that they can save their top slots for schools that consider ranking, said principal Michael Perlberg. He said some parents have received their first ranked choice but appealed that decision because they actually preferred M.S. 839.
"The policy change to blind rankings “is going to allow parents to sit down with their kids and do a ranking that’s really authentic,” Perlberg said. “We’re really excited about that.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Proposed legislation offers incentives to living organ donors

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has the story
Proposed legislation offers incentives to living organ donors in Pa.

"A Pennsylvania lawmaker plans to introduce legislation this week that would allow pilot programs to give non-cash rewards to people who donate a kidney or part of their liver.

The proposal from U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, includes potential rewards for donors such as health insurance, tax credits, contributions to the donor's favorite charity and tuition reimbursement.

Federal law prohibits buying or selling organs for transplantation, but Cartwright said his proposal aims to address a dire organ shortage while saving the government money.

He estimates that eliminating the nation's bloated organ wait list could save more than $5.5 billion per year in medical costs for people with end-stage renal disease.

Cartwright said it's “a national outrage that 22 people die every day waiting for a transplant.”

“The current system is not working, and the only way to find out what would make it work is to try something new,” Cartwright told the Tribune-Review. “I have support on both sides of the aisle because people understand we need to try something different.”

The congressman emphasized that his plan would not pay donors for their organs but simply provide an incentive to donate. To avoid corruption, an ethics control board would monitor the program, and the rewards would not be transferable to other people, he said.

The legislation also would call for donors to be reimbursed for time off work and travel and costs associated with the surgery, which can be prohibitive."

Matching refugees to towns in Britain: Tim Harford in the FT

In the Financial Times, Tim Harford writes about resettling refugees: The refugee crisis — match us if you can--‘However many refugees we decide to resettle, there’s no excuse for doing the process wastefully’

"By balancing competing demands, good matching mechanisms have alleviated real suffering in school systems and organ donation programmes. Now two young Oxford academics, Will Jones of the Refugee Studies Centre and Alexander Teytelboym of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, are trying to persuade governments to use matching mechanisms in the refugee crisis.
Most popular discussions of the crisis focus on how many refugees we in rich countries should accept. Yet other questions matter too. Once nations, or groups of countries, have decided to resettle a certain number of refugees from temporary camps, to which country should they go? Or within a country, to which area?
Different answers have been tried over the years, from randomly dispersing refugees to using the best guesses of officials, as they juggle the preferences of local communities with what they imagine the refugees might want.
In fact, this is a classic matching problem. Different areas have different capabilities. Some have housing but few school places; others have school places but few jobs; still others have an established community of refugees from a particular region. And refugee families have their own skills, needs and desires.
This is not so different a problem from allocating trainee doctors to teaching hospitals, or children to schools, or even kidneys to compatible recipients. In each case, we can get a better match through a matching mechanism. However many refugees we decide to resettle, there’s no excuse for doing the process wastefully.
There is no perfect mechanism for matching refugees to communities — there are too many variables at play — but there are some clear parameters: housing is a major constraint, as is the availability of medical care. Simple systems exist, or could be developed, that should make the process more efficient, stable and dignified."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Aumann Lecture (video): Economists as Engineers: Game Theory and Market Design

Here's a video of my Aumann Lecture last week in Israel--I took as my starting point Bob's 1985 paper "What is Game Theory Trying to Accomplish?"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A National Academy of Sciences report on kidney exchange, and market design

As part of their outreach to the general public, the National Academy of Sciences has initiated a series of  reports called A NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES SERIES ABOUT SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY AND HUMAN BENEFIT: FROM RESEARCH TO REWARD

The first of these is about kidney exchange (mostly) and market design:
Matching Kidney Donors with Those Who Need Them—and Other Explorations in Economics by Nancy Shute

It has some nice graphics, and starts off this way:

"In the news, economists are often portrayed as number crunchers hidden away in universities. But they also journey out into the world, discovering problems and then charting a course to a solution. By applying economic theories to the shortage of kidneys, scientists have been able to save lives, cut medical costs, and reduce misery. Their innovations have spurred medical progress.

“Economics is about the real world,” said Alvin Roth, a Stanford University economist, when he won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for his work on matching markets, including the kidney donor matching problem."
You can download a pdf version (without the nice graphics) here: Annotated version

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Transplant Donation Global Leadership Symposium

I'll be in Del Mar for the next few days to speak and hear about transplant practices around the world.
Here's the conference announcement:

The Transplant Donation Global Leadership Symposium is a unique learning experience to explore best practices and innovation to address the most pressing leadership challenges facing the organ and tissue donation and transplantation fields. Robust dialogue and collaborative team work among 75 select attendees build relationships spanning the globe, and participants leave with broadened leadership skills, innovative ideas, and expanded professional networks.
The GLS brings together a faculty of international leaders and innovators in donation, transplantation, leadership, and management. This year the GLS is honored to have Al Roth, the Nobel Prize winning economist whose work in market theory enabled the development of kidney matching algorithms that help make living donor chains possible. Dr. Roth is continuing his work in our field with a focus on public education and donor registries, applying economic science to help identify effective interventions. 
Delmonico Roth Rees Ashlagi    
ABOVE: Francis L. Delmonico, MD, Alvin E. Roth, Michael Reese, MD, Itai Ashlage
Along with Dr. Roth, the faculty will share their knowledge and expertise in order to meet these objectives:
  • Analyze donation systems in place around the globe and develop strategies to improve each element in his/her home country and organization;
  • Explore the distinct skills and roles required for a successful donation program and the interpersonal leadership talents required to ensure seamless collaboration;
  • Identify the cultural and ethical foundations that lead to diversity in donation around the world and ways to bridge these differences to maximize donation everywhere; and
  • Examine leadership opportunities and challenges in emerging donation and transplantation practices.
The following topics will be presented in order to meet these objectives:
  • International Best Practices
  • International Donation Improvement
  • Political, Financial, Legal and Ethical Foundations of Organ Donation
  • Organizational and Operational Elements of Successful Donation Programs
  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Professional and Public Education
If you are a health professional coordinating donors for transplantation, a transplant coordinator wishing to expand your knowledge, abilities and capacities, a manager in charge of a donation or transplant program or department of a program, or an official charged with developing an organ donation and transplantation system, please join us May 22-26, 2016  at the L'Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar.  If you are interested in a scholarship application, please click here.
Mone Signature   
Tom Mone
CEO &  Executive V.P.
 OL Logo large                
Susan Gunderson

LifeSource, The Upper Midwest Organ Procurement Organization, Inc.
Howard M. Nathan
CEO & President

Gift of Life Donor Program
Founder & President,
Gift of Institute
GOL Inst logo_Smaller              
Marti Manyalich

TPM University of Barcelona
TPM DTI               



  • When

  • Sunday, May 22, 2016 - Thursday, May 26, 2016
    3:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    Pacific SA Time
  • Where

  • L'Auberge Del Mar
    1540 Camino Del Mar
    Del Mar, California 92014

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The UAE may soon allow organ transplants

The Gulf News has the story. (I hadn't realized that transplantation was a repugnant transaction in the United Arab Emirates. In fact it sounds as if they still have a way to go...)

The UAE may soon allow organ transplant--Some 68% of respondents on a UAE national survey said they were willing to donate organs if they were brain-dead

"The deceased organ donation programme, which is now available in all other GCC countries except for the UAE, might soon become a reality in this country too, said Dr Farhad Janahi, assistant professor and renowned kidney transplant surgeon at Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) at the Dubai Health Care City (DHCC).
"Dr Janahi told Gulf News: “At present there are over 2,000 kidney patients on dialysis in the UAE on a waiting list for kidney transplants alone. Deceased organ donation programme is now a reality in all other Gulf Cooperation Council countries and this survey’s findings indicate that the people of UAE are ready for a new law on deceased organ donation.”
"The results of this survey were presented at the first UAE Organ Donation forum held last week at the DHCC which was held under the patronage of the Chairperson of Dubai Health Care City Authority (DHCCA), Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and was attended by 50 transplant experts, religious leaders and donors, among other attendees, and also highlighted means to expand organ transplantation services in the UAE.
"Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, chief executive officer, Education Sector, DHCCA, said, “Creating a platform such as the first UAE Organ Donation Forum to discuss legislations, exchange ideas will help us reduce the gap between the demand and supply of human organs for transplantation.”

Clearinghouses for IOU's in the 13th through 18th centuries: by Borner and Hatfield

Here's a market design/economic history paper about early financial clearinghouses, forthcoming in the Journal of Political Economy:

The Design of Debt Clearing Markets: Clearinghouse Mechanisms in Pre-Industrial Europe
Lars Borner, and John William Hatfield

We examine the evolution of the decentralized clearinghouse mechanisms that were
in use throughout Europe from the 13th century to the 18th century; in particular,
we explore the clearing of non- or limited-tradable debts like bills of exchange. We
construct a theoretical model of these clearinghouse mechanisms and show that the
specific decentralized multilateral clearing algorithms known as rescontre, skontrieren
or virement des parties, used by merchants in this period, were efficient in specific historical
contexts. Our analysis contributes to the understanding of both the emergence
and evolution of these mechanisms during late medieval and early modern fairs and
their robustness during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Georgia plans national matchmaking service as marriage rate falls (the country, not the U.S. state)

The Guardian has the story:
Georgia plans national matchmaking service as marriage rate falls
National database of singletons proposed to help pull country away from ‘demographic catastrophe’.

"A nationwide headcount of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes has been announced in Georgia, apparently in a bid to help tackle the slowing birth rate.
Georgia’s non-profit Demographic Development Fund (DDF) believes that a drop in the rate of marriages and births has brought the small post-Soviet nation to the cusp of a “demographic catastrophe”.
They say apps such as Tinder won’t adequately tackle the problem, and that a government-backed dating service is needed instead.

“We will take a census of all singles, widows, widowers, the divorced and enter their details in a database,” Davit Khizanishvili, the fund’s president, announced.
The DDF has already started to profile Georgia’s singletons, taking note of personal details such as “weight, height and zodiac sign” and adding them to the database, which they say will be administered by a special agency."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Circumcision, in the NY Times

The NY Times has a column by a pediatrician, discussing the medical evidence bearing on circumcision of infants in the United States: Should You Circumcise Your Child?

Here are some posts about attempts in various times and places to make circumcision a repugnant transaction: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First annual Aumann Lecture, May 19, at National Game Theory Conference at Tel Aviv University

I'll be giving the 2016 Aumann Lecture tomorrow at the (Israel) National Game Theory Conference at Tel Aviv University, 19-May-2016:  :

Here's the whole conference program:

 Main Lecture Hall: Trubovits Building, Ben Shemesh Hall (Room 308)
Additional Lecture Hall: Room 206
Aumann Lecture will take place at Lev Auditorium at 16:30.

9:00 – 9:30: Refreshments
9:30 – 9:35: Opening Words.
9:35 – 10:10: Plenary Talk: Ben Shemesh Hall
Ehud Lehrer (Tel Aviv University): Reward Schemes (with Dudu Lagziel)
10:10 – 10:25: Refreshments
10:25 – 11:25: Parallel Sessions
Session 1: Ben Shemesh Hall. Mechanism Design: organized by Assaf Romm and Avinatan Hassidim
 Moshe Babaioff (Microsoft Research): Networks of Complements (with Liad Blumrosen and Noam Nisan)
 Erel Segal Halevy (Bar-Ilan): A Random-Sampling Double-Auction Mechanism (with Avinatan Hassidim and Yonatan Aumann)
 Yannai Gonczarowski (HUJI and Microsoft Research): No Stable Matching Mechanism is Obviously Strategy-Proof (with Itai Ashlagi)
Session 2: Room 206.
 Dhruva Bhaskar (NYU): Tempting and Testing through Costly Monitoring
 Galit Ashkenazi-Golan (Tel Aviv University and Seminar Hakibutzim): What You Get is What You See: Repeated Games with Observable Payoffs (with Ehud Lehrer)
 Eilon Solan (Tel Aviv University): Acceptable Strategy Profiles in Stochastic Games.
11:25 – 11:40: Refreshments
11:40 – 12:40: Parallel Sessions
Session 3: Ben Shemesh Hall.
 Gaetan Fournier (Tel Aviv University): General distribution of consumers in pure Hotelling games
 Mehmet Ismail (University of Maastricht): Maximin Equilibrium: A Minimal Extension of Maximin Strategies
 Reshef Meir (Technion): Playing the Wrong Game: Smoothness Bounds for Congestion Games with Behavioral Biases (with David Parkes)
Session 4: Room 206.
 Avishay Aiche (University of Haifa): The Asymptotic Kernel in Smooth
Symmetric (with Benyamin Shitovitz)
 Ilan Nehama (HUJI): Analyzing Games with Ambiguous Player Types using the
MINthenMAX Decision Model
 Sophie Bade (Universiy of London and Max Planck Institute for Research on
Collective Goods, Bonn): Weak Dynamic Consistency
12:40 – 14:10: Lunch at Gan Hadkalim.
14:10 – 14:45: Plenary Talk: Ben Shemesh Hall.
Elchanan Ben-Porath (HUJI), Mechanism Design with Evidence
14:45 – 15:00: Refreshments
15:00 – 16:00: Parallel Sessions
Session 5: Ben Shemesh Hall
 İbrahim İnal (University of Edinburgh): Purification without Common Knowledge of
 Gilad Bavly (Bar Ilan University): Differentiation Games (with Amnon Schreiber)
 Sidartha Gordon (Siences Po): Information Choice and Diversity: The Role of
Strategic Complementarities (with Catherine Gendron-Saulnier)
Session 6: Room 206.
 Ram Orzach (Oakland University): Supersizing: The Illusion of a Bargain and the
Right-to-Split (with Miron Stano)
 Moran Koren (Technion): Bayesian Learning in Markets with Common Value (with
Itai Arieli and Rann Smorodinsky)
 Yaron Azriely (Ohio State University): Symmetric Mechanism Design (with Ritesh
16:00 – 16:30: Refreshments
16:30 – 17:30: Aumann Talk, Lev Auditorium.
Alvin Roth (Stanford): Economists as Engineers: Game Theory and Market

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Market/Mechanism Design in Israel at Bar-Ilan University, Wednesday May 18

If you are going to be in Tel Aviv tomorrow... MARKET/MECHANISM DESIGN IN ISRAEL,  BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY, MAY 18, 2016

Here's the program:

The conference will take place at the Nanotechnology Building (building 206) in Bar Ilan university.

8:45-9:00  Coffee
9:00-9:15  Opening remarks
9:15-10:00  Alvin E. Roth
, Stanford University and Harvard University, Nobel Prize laureate 2012
Beyond Stability in (Decentralized) Matching Markets
​(A Short Paper with a Long Introduction)

10:00-10:45  Noam Nisan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Pricing Complexity, joint with Moshe Babaioff (MSR), Shaddin Dughmi (USC), Li Han (USC), Sergiu Hart (HUJI), and Yannai Gonczarowski (HUJI)
10:45-11:15  Coffee break
11:15-11:45  Kfir Eliaz
, Tel-Aviv University and University of Michigan
Incentive-Compatible Advertising on a Social Network, joint with Ran Speigler (TAU and UCL)
11:45-12:15  Yaron Singer, Harvard University
12:15-12:45  Ran Shorrer, Harvard University
Redesigning the Israeli Psychology Masters Match, joint with Avinatan Hassidim (BIU) and Assaf Romm (HUJI)
12:45-14:00  Lunch break
14:00-14:30  Michal Feldman, Tel-Aviv University
Welfare Maximization via Posted Prices
14:30-15:00  Shahar Dobzinski, Weizmann Institute
Computational Efficiency Requires Simple Taxation
15:00-15:30  Inbal Talgam Cohen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Why Prices Need Algorithms. Joint with Tim Roughgarden.
15:30-16:00  Coffee Break
16:00-16:45  Yishay Mansour, 
MSR and Tel-Aviv University
Exploration, Exploitation and Incentives
16:45-17:30  Yonatan Aumann, Bar-Ilan University
Fair and Square: Cake Cutting in 2D.  Joint with Erel Halevi Segal, Avinatan Hassidim, and Shmuel Nitzan.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Results of the 2015 Medical School Enrollment Survey

Results of the 2015 Medical School Enrollment Survey

"Key findings include:
 • Medical school enrollment has grown 25 percent since 2002–2003, and 30 percent growth should be achieved by 2017–2018. In 2006, in response to concerns of a likely future physician shortage, the AAMC recommended a 30 percent increase in first-year medical school enrollment by the 2015–2016 academic year (over 2002–2003 levels). Using the baseline of the 2002–2003 first-year enrollment of 16,488 students, a 30 percent increase corresponds to an increase of 4,946 students. The survey results indicate that the 30 percent goal will likely be attained by 2017–2018. Enrollment growth could be accelerated if any of the seven applicant or candidate schools in the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) pipeline attains preliminary accreditation.

• Schools are increasingly concerned about the availability of graduate medical education opportunities for their incoming students. Medical schools reported concern about enrollment growth outpacing growth in graduate medical education (GME). Half of medical schools reported concerns about their own incoming students’ ability to find residency positions of their choice after medical school, up from 35 percent in 2012. Concern about GME availability at the state and national levels declined somewhat since 2013, yet it still remained high.

• There has been a large increase in the percentage of schools experiencing competition for clinical training sites from DO-granting schools and other health care professional programs. In 2015, 85 percent of respondents expressed concern about the number of clinical training sites and the supply of qualified primary care preceptors. Seventy-two percent expressed concern about the supply of qualified specialty preceptors. There has been a large increase in the percentage of schools experiencing competition from DO-granting schools and other health care professional programs, from about a quarter of schools in 2009 to more than half of schools in 2015. Forty-four percent of respondents reported feeling pressure to pay for clinical training slots, though the majority of schools currently do not pay for clinical training.
• Enrollment increases at DO-granting schools continue to accelerate. First-year enrollment at DO-granting schools in 2020–2021 is expected to reach 8,468, a 185 percent increase from 2,968 students in 2002–2003. Combined first-year enrollment at existing MD-granting and DO-granting medical schools is projected to reach 30,186 by 2020–2021, an increase of 55 percent compared with 2002–2003. "

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Organizing organ donation by social media

In the NY Times, David Bornstein writes about the efforts by Organize to bolster organ donor registries by prompting statements of intent on internet media:
Using Tweets and Posts to Speed Up Organ Donation

"One group attacking the question is Organize, which was founded in 2014 by Rick Segal’s son Greg, and Jenna Arnold, a media producer and educator who has worked with MTV and the United Nations in engaging audiences in social issues. Organize uses technology, open data and insights from behavioral economics to simplify becoming an organ donor.
This approach is shaking up longstanding assumptions.
For example, in the last four decades, people have most often been asked to register as an organ donor as part of renewing or obtaining a driver’s license. This made sense in the 1970s, when the nation’s organ procurement system was being set up, says Blair Sadler, the former president and chief executive of Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. He helped draft the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act in 1967, which established a national legal framework for organ donation. “Health care leaders were asking, ‘How do we make this more routine?’” he recalled. “It’s hard to get people to put it in their wills. Oh, there’s a place where people have to go every five years” — their state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Today, governments allow individuals to initiate registrations online, but the process can be cumbersome. For example, New York State required me to fill out a digital form on my computer, then print it out and mail it to Albany. Donate Life America, by contrast, allows individuals to register online as an organ donor just by logging in with email or a Facebook or Google account — much easier.
In practice, legal registration may be overemphasized. It may be just as important to simply make your wishes known to your loved ones. When people tell relatives, “If something happens to me, I want to be an organ donor,” families almost always respect their wishes. This is particularly important for minors, who cannot legally register as donors.

Using that insight, Organize is making it easier to conduct social media campaigns to both prompt and collect sentiments about organ donation from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you post or tweet about organ donation, or include a hashtag like #iwanttobeanorgandonor, #organdonor, #donatemyparts, or any of a number of other relevant terms, Organize captures the information and logs it in a registry. In a year, it has gathered the names of nearly 600,000 people who declare support for organ donation. Now the big question is: Will it actually increase organ donation rates?
We should begin getting an idea pretty soon. Organize has been working with the Nevada Donor Network to test its registry. And in the coming months, several other states will begin using it."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Market design in Siam and Germany--(book reviews of Who Gets What and Why)

First in the Siam news (not this Siam, rather this Siam),

May 02, 2016

Mathematical Matchmaking--Algorithms That Address Real-World Problems

Who Gets What—And Why. By Alvin E. Roth, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2015, 272 pages, $28.00.
Case likes the book but warns the non-economist reader as follows:
"In closing, it should be mentioned that by classifying matchmaking venues as markets, Roth gives the impression that economists are uniquely qualified to design and modify them, though nothing in the traditional economics curriculum seems particularly relevant. On the contrary, students of combinatorics, computer science, and/or operations research (in which Roth himself received his doctoral degree) would seem at least as well prepared for the task. "

And from Germany:

Macht der Matching-Märkte  ("Power of Matching Markets")Nicht der Preis entscheidet über Angebot und Nachfrage

I liked this phrase from Google Translate: " fast and refreshingly drinkable written book"

While I'm at it, here's another recent review, from a blog called "Don't worry, I'm an economist!"

Friday, May 13, 2016

A repugnant gun transaction

USA Today has the story of the on again, off again and once more on again auction of a notorious gun:
George Zimmerman's auction of Trayvon Martin gun back on
The url is more informative:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/05/12/george-zimmerman-auctions-gun-used-trayvon-martin-killing/84271998/

"George Zimmerman tried a second time Thursday to auction off the firearm he used to kill 17-year-oldTrayvon Martin in Florida in 2012 after the first gun-selling website yanked the listing minutes before bidding was to begin on the "piece of history."
A statement posted on the website GunBroker.com said listings are user generated, and that the company reserved the right to reject any at its discretion.
"Mr. Zimmerman never contacted anyone at GunBroker.com prior to or after the listing was created and no one at (the website) has any relationship with Zimmerman," the company wrote in its statement.
It added, "We want no part in the listing on our web site or in any of the publicity it is receiving."
The listing, which got more than 185,000 views, was replaced at mid-morning Thursday by a message that said, without elaboration, "Sorry, but the item you have requested is no longer in the system."
Zimmerman told the Orlando Sentinel that GunBroker.com was not "prepared for the traffic and publicity surrounding the auction of my firearm. It has now been placed with another auction house."
The new listing for the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm firearm was posted on unitedgungroup.com.
Zimmerman wrote in both listings that that he was "honored and humbled" to announce the sale of the weapon and set the bidding to start at $5,000. Similar firearms normally sell on the site for around $200.
"The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012," he wrote.
Zimmerman, 32, noted the Justice Department returned the weapon to him recently and it still bears the case number written on it in silver permanent marker.
"This is a piece of American History," he wrote. "It has been featured in several publications and in current University text books."
Zimmerman, then a neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed Trayvon in February 2012, in a confrontation as the unarmed teenager was heading back to a relative's house in Sanford, Fla., after buying snacks at a convenience store.
A jury found Zimmerman, who alleged that Martin was trying to bash his head on the pavement during a struggle, not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

NBER Market Design: 2016 Methods Lectures, Tuesday July 26 (Abdulkadiroglu, Agarwal, Ashlagi, Pathak, and Roth)

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Parag Pathak and I will be delivering a set of "Methods Lectures" on Market Design as part of the NBER Summer Institute sessions on Labor Economics, which will be held July 25-29, 2016 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge MA.
The program for the whole week is here, and below is the Tuesday afternoon Market Design program.

NBER Market Design: 2016 Methods Lectures

1:15 pm

1:20 pm
Al Roth: Game Theory and Market Design

2:05 pm
Parag Pathak and Atila AbdulkadirogluDesign of Matching Markets

2:50 pm

3:00 pm
Atila Abdulkadiroglu and Parag Pathak: Research Design meets Market Design

3:45 pm
Nikhil Agarwal: Revealed Preference Analysis in Matching Markets

4:30 pm

4:40 pm
Itai AshlagiMatching Dynamics and Computation 

5:30 pm