Monday, April 30, 2018

Deferred rejection: longer college admission wait lists

College waiting lists are a bit of a misnomer--they aren't ordered lists, they are more like waiting pools from which candidates can be drawn if the yield from regular admissions falls short.

The WSJ has the story:
College Wait Lists Are Ballooning as Schools Struggle to Predict Enrollment
The chance of getting off the wait list has plummeted at many schools as the pool has expanded

"As hundreds of thousands of high-school seniors face a May 1 deadline to put down deposits at their college of choice, many still face uncertainty over where they will end up. Their futures are clouded by the schools’ use of wait lists to make sure they have the right number, and type, of students come fall.

"The University of Virginia increased the number of applicants invited onto wait lists by 68% between 2015 and 2017. At Lehigh University, that figure rose by 54%. And at Ohio State University, it more than tripled.
"[Carnegie Mellon University], with a target of 1,550 freshmen, offered wait-list spots to just over 5,000 applicants this year.

"“You can take stock and ‘fix’ or refine the class by gender, income, geography, major or other variables,” said Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School. “A large waiting list gives you greater flexibility in filling these gaps.”

"This year, applications to Carnegie Mellon rose 19%. With more students accepting its offers of admission, it couldn’t risk over-enrolling. The school admitted 500 fewer students and expects to go to some of its wait lists to make sure each undergraduate program meets enrollment goals, and that there is a good mix of students, including enough aspiring English majors or kids from South Dakota. The school can also take into account the financial situations of wait-listed candidates."

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Kidney exchange amendment proposed for Hong Kong organ donation law

A bill introduced in Hong Kong clarifies that kidney exchange doesn't count as (forbidden) "inducement" to donate an organ under the law. (In this respect the bill seems to parallel the Norwood Act which amended the U.S. National Organ Transplant Act for the same reason.)  The bill excludes exchange of different organs (about which I recently blogged here.)

Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Bill 2018 gazetted

"Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Government published in the Gazette today (April 27) the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Bill 2018, which seeks to allow for paired/pooled organ donation arrangements in Hong Kong.

     A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said, "Living donation offers an alternative for individuals awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor and increases the existing organ supply. There are however cases where the patient who needs an organ transplant has a living related donor who is willing but unable to donate because of an incompatible blood type or tissue type. One option would be paired donation."

     Under a paired donation arrangement, both medically approved incompatible donor-patient pairs donate organs to the other pair so that the patients in both pairs receive compatible organs.

Currently, as stipulated in section 5D(1)(c) of the Human Organ Transplant Ordinance (Cap 465) (HOTO), the donor has to give his consent to the proposed organ removal without coercion or the offer of inducement before any organ transplant between living persons can take place. Under a paired or pooled organ donation, a donor is willing to donate his/her organ to a stranger in exchange for another donor donating his/her organ to the first donor's originally intended recipient. While the term "inducement" is not specifically defined, the Government intends to amend HOTO to clear any legal ambiguity as to whether a paired organ donation involves "inducement".

     "The Hospital Authority is proposing a pilot Paired Kidney Donation Programme, participation in which will be voluntary.

The donor from the first incompatible donor-recipient pair ('dyad' as defined under the Amendment Bill) would donate to the recipient of the second dyad, and the donor from the second dyad would donate to the recipient of the first dyad," the spokesman said.

     The Amendment Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for scrutiny on May 9."
Here's the bill: Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Ordinance 2018.
"A bill to Amend the Human Organ Transplant Ordinance to provide that a donor is not to be regarded as having given consent to a proposed organ removal with the offer of inducement only because the consent has been given in consideration of a proposed organ transplant into a person chosen by the donor under a donation arrangement."

And here's the Legislative Council Brief.
Interestingly, it contains the following stipulation:
"6. In order to better describe the paired and pooled donation arrangements, we intend to introduce a new concept of a dyad, which is a group of two persons consisting of a donor and a beneficiary. The definitions for paired and pooled donation arrangements are also expressly set out. To avoid any impression or possibility that different types of organs could be exchanged under such
arrangements, organs to be removed and transplanted under the arrangements are restricted to be of the same kind and every removal and transplant is to be carried out by a registered medical practitioner in Hong Kong."

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Ticket scalping in Hong Kong

I don't know how big of an issue it is, but this story on ticket scalping was prominently displayed in the South China Morning Post the other day:

 Touts snap up tickets as Hong Kong fans queue overnight for chance to see Dayo Wong.  Scalpers operating in city despite leader’s promise to crack down on practice, which leaves fans facing exorbitant fees

"The promise by Hong Kong’s leader to clamp down on the black market for show tickets appears to have done little to deter the city’s ticket touts."

Friday, April 27, 2018

Marijuana markets--States' rights?

The Trump administration has an ever more complicated relationship with the growing legalization of marijuana by American states (see previous posts). The Attorney General is an ardent opponent of these legalizations, and seeks to actively enforce the still-on-the-books federal bans  (marijuana is a Schedule I drug, like heroin, according to federal law).

However there are indications that President Trump may not support this any longer:
The Motley Fool (that's the name of a news outlet, not an administration figure) has the story:
President Trump Flip-Flopped on Marijuana, Again

"What's interesting about the marijuana industry is that, while Canada is leading the charge, it's the U.S. that could be the world's most lucrative market for weed -- if it were legal, that is. Despite an overwhelming number of respondents in U.S. surveys in favor of legalizing cannabis nationally, the federal government has remained steadfast in maintaining a Schedule I classification for pot.
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions is very much at the heart of marijuana's lack of progress at the federal level. As no fan of pot, Sessions has repeatedly attempted to thwart expansion at the state level. In May 2017, he sent letters to a few congressional colleagues requesting that the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment be repealed. This amendment, passed with each and every federal spending proposal, is what disallows the Justice Department from using federal dollars to prosecute medical marijuana businesses. Sessions' request has repeatedly fallen on deaf ears in Washington.
Last week, after consulting with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), President Trump came to an agreement to end any potential federal crackdown on legal cannabis industries in states that have legalized in some capacity."

We'll see what this means, given that not everyone involved has a long attention span...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Religiosity of non-directed kidney donors

Here's an online early view of a paper from the Journal of Clinical Nursing (and see some related blog posts at the end of this post):

Spirituality and religiosity of non‐directed (altruistic) living kidney donors
Ariella Maghen BA  Grecia B Vargas MSPH  Sarah E Connor MPH, CHES Sima Nassiri BS  Elisabeth M Hicks MA  Lorna Kwan MPH  ... See all authors
First published: 5 March 2018

Aims and objectives
To describe the spirituality and religiosity of 30 non‐directed (altruistic) living kidney donors in the USA and explore how they may have affected their motivations to donate and donation process experiences.

The rise in non‐directed donors and their ability to initiate kidney chains offer a novel approach to help alleviate the overextended kidney transplant wait list in the USA. However, little is known about the non‐directed donors’ motivations, characteristics and experiences.

We conducted a qualitative‐dominant study and used a grounded theory approach to analyse data.

Thirty participants completed in‐depth interviews between April 2013–April 2015. Three analysts independently read and coded interview transcripts. Grounded theory techniques were used to develop descriptive categories and identify topics related to the non‐directed donors donation experience.

Sixteen of the 30 non‐directed donorss discussed the topic of spirituality and religiosity when describing their donation experiences, regardless of whether they were actively practising a religion at the time of donation. Specifically, three themes were identified within spirituality and religiosity: motivation to donate, support in the process, and justification of their donation decisions postdonation.

Findings from this study are the first to describe how spirituality and religiosity influenced the experiences of U.S. non‐directed donorss and may help improve non‐directed donors educational resources for future spiritual or religious non‐directed donors, and the overall non‐directed donors donation experience in efforts to increase the living donor pool.

Relevance to clinical practice
Spirituality and religiosity are often overlooked yet potentially influential factors in Western medicine, as demonstrated through the experiences of Jehovah's Witnesses and their religious restrictions while undergoing surgery and the beliefs of Christian Scientists against taking medications and receiving medical procedures. Understanding needs of non‐directed donors specifically with spirituality and religiosity can better position kidney transplant centres and teams to improve predonation screening of non‐directed donor candidates and provide support services during the donation process.

Here are some earlier posts about religion and living kidney donation:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Merit versus financial need in college financial aid

Colleges give discounts. Who knew?  The WSJ has the story:

Prizes for Everyone: How Colleges Use Scholarships to Lure Students
Merit awards are important component of many schools’ enrollment strategies

"At George Washington University, nearly half of all undergraduates receive the school’s Presidential Academic Scholarship. The prizes go to “the most competitive applicants in the pool,” admissions materials say, and include awards of $5,000 to $30,000 for each student.

At some other colleges, a solid majority of students get similarly hefty scholarships. At still others, virtually everyone gets them.

Hundreds of colleges and universities are using academic scholarships and other merit-based financial aid to gain an edge in a battle for students. The scholarships make students feel wanted and let families think they’re getting a good deal, like a shopper who buys an expensive sweater on sale."

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


I am on my way to the auto show in Beijing as a guest of NIO, the Chinese electric car company.

From Google translate:
Here's a picture of me speaking at the auto show, from this news story, in Chinese.

Here's another Chinese news story, and a later one.
And here's a story about NIO, from Forbes, at the Beijing Auto Show:
NIO Takes A Decisive Lead In China's Premium Electric Race
"The Shanghai- and San Jose based company got out of the blocks a little earlier and has moved faster than anyone else. Extravagant funding to recruit world-class talent is fueling startling innovation too.
Deliveries of the first NIO product, the ES8, begin this week."

Monday, April 23, 2018

Stanford celebrates Paul Milgrom

Paul Milgrom on challenging the status quo to solve real-world problems

"The author of more than 100 seminal research papers and three books, Milgrom is most admired for his role in 1993 in designing, along with Stanford Professor Robert Wilson, the format used by governments to lease airwaves to mobile phone carriers. To date, "the U.S. Treasury has received more than $100 billion from these spectrum auctions, in which Milgrom and Wilson developed a way for bidders to see prices as they change and adjust the types of licenses they seek. Countries around the world use the format.
In 2017, the U.S. government undertook a novel spectrum auction that may prove to be Milgrom's greatest professional achievement to date. Leading a small team of economists and computer scientists, Milgrom created a simple bidding format for a highly complex problem in which the rights to TV broadcasting airwaves were, for the first time, converted and sold to mobile carriers and broadband providers. The feat was remarkable, not just because it led to $19.8 billion in licenses, but because its success depended on the ability to conduct enormously complex computations instantaneously.
"This [was] by far the most complicated resource allocation ever attempted, anywhere in the world," says Milgrom. It was also his first real encounter with artificial intelligence — and the power of it to transform his work and the entire field of economics has Milgrom thinking about radically new ways of constructing markets in coming decades.
Thanks in part to the team’s work, the FCC received the 2018 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Deceased donor kidney exchange chain in Italy (and some Italian kidney politics)

First, some excellent transplant news from Italy: A deceased donor kidney exchange transplant chain has been conducted there. Here's some of the (English language) press release.

"On March 14th, for the first time in the world, the first live kidney transplantation chain between incompatible donor-recipient pairs (the so-called "cross over" program) triggered by a deceased donor was successfully launched in Italy.
The complex study phase for implementing the program, presented by Dr. Lucrezia Furian, member of the kidney transplant team of Padua University hospital, during the General Meeting of the Transplant Network, requested a careful retrospective evaluation of the data related to incompatible donors-recipient couples, a scrupulous analysis of the aspects related to efficacy, ethical and logistical problems and the development of algorithms for optimization of crossover chains. This study was conducted as part of an interdisciplinary research project funded by the University of Padua which involved, together with the transplant center team, researchers from the Department of Economics and Business Sciences and the Padua University Mathematics Department, led by Prof. Antonio Nicolò, scientific director of the research project. "

Antonio NicolòProfessor of Economics at the University of Padua, has written about kidney exchange.
Here are some of my earlier posts about starting kidney exchange chains with deceased donors:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The announcement also drew from the depths some curious parts of transplant politics in Italy (and in Europe more generally), where Global Kidney Exchange (GKE) has received both strong support, and organized opposition.
Here's an article from Corriere Della Sera (MARCH 16, 2018), which quotes the director of the Italian National Transplant Center as celebrating that the chain did not benefit any patient-donor pairs from poor countries, as in the proposal for GKE, which he condemns. In particular, he attacks one of the transplant surgeons involved in GKE, Ignazio Marino, a former Mayor of Rome.

This led to the following reply (in Italian, of which I am a coauthor:)

Here's the google translate of our letter:
"On 16/3 the Corriere described the transplant a Padova of a kidney taken from one deceased person for a patient who he had the wife's willingness to donate the organ but could not do it being incompatible from the immune point of view.
The lady then donated one kidney to another patient, thus helping another person. Congratulations to the living donor and to the family of the deceased donor: they are the real heroes of transplant surgery. They go also praised the doctors who performed the interventions. We must however rectify several incorrect information. It is important that the team by Paolo Rigotti has turned into reality an idea, but it is not true what the Corriere and, apparently also the Head of the National Transplant Center, that "so far nobody had thought of it". The concept was known to the whole scientific world since 2016 because published, by two signatories of this letter, on the American Journal of Transplantation. It is not even true that there are no algorithms or studies.
They have existed for years and on their basis one of the signatories of this letter received in 2012 the Nobel Prize. It is also false as written that "in the US the hypothesis among the polemics is the recourse to living Filipino donors who in exchange could take advantage of a transplant free for the sick relative ». And then defamatory to affirm that "ours surgeon Ignazio Marino "(our of whom?) would support this practice. It is true instead that there is a project (Global Kidney Exchange) that in the US has not seen any conflict, but the endorsement, in 2017, of the American Society for Transplant Surgeons, the society which brings together all the transplant surgeons. Furthermore, on January 22, 2018, the President of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Prof. Walter Ricciardi, in his role as a member of the Executive Board of the Organization World Health Organization has promoted this idea which has since been viewed on the WHO website. Is an idea born from the desire to help the the largest possible number of patients. In practice, if one of us wanted to give a kidney a a loved one, but can not because he has a blood group B, and the person who loves needs a kidney from a donor with a blood group A, that transplant impossible can be achieved because in there are two others in the world people who love each other and have groups opposing blood. Making them meet yes they can transplant patients otherwise they will not transplantable. This is what we illustrated in Rome, in a conference promoted by the Italian NIH, January 15, 2018. Yes it is a revolutionary project if one thinks that only in sub-Saharan Africa every year about 5 million people die because they have no access to hemodialysis or to kidney transplantation.
Ignazio R. Marino Professor of Surgery,
Jefferson University
Cataldo Doria Professor of Surgery,
Jefferson University
Michael Rees, Professor of Urology,
University of Toledo
Alvin E. Roth Professor of Economics, University
of Stanford and Harvard, Nobel Economics 2012
And here are some previous blog posts relating to kidney exchange politics in Italy, as discussed in the letter.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

FCC receives Edelman award for incentive spectrum auction

Advancing wireless communication: FCC awarded the 2018 INFORMS Edelman Award, the leading award in analytics and operations research

"The FCC conducted the world’s first two-sided “Incentive Auction” to meet the exploding demand for wireless services by reclaiming valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum from TV broadcasters. By purchasing spectrum from TV broadcasters and reselling it to wireless providers, the auction repurposed 84 MHz of TV spectrum for mobile broadband, next-generation “5-G,” and other wireless uses, raised nearly $20 billion in revenue, and contributed over $7 billion to reduce the federal deficit. In addition, operations research enabled many TV stations to remain on their original channels, saving an estimated $200 million in relocation costs.  "

I have written quite a number of posts focusing on the incentive auction, and on the dream team led by Paul Milgrom; here's one of the first:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Friday, April 20, 2018

Parag Pathak wins the American Economic Association's Clark Medal

Here's the announcement, which describes Parag's work well:
Parag Pathak, Clark Medalist 2018

Parag Pathak

See my earlier posts involving Pathak here.

Congratulations Parag, on a well deserved award!

Here's MIT's celebration of Parag:
Parag Pathak wins John Bates Clark Medal
MIT economist lauded for work on education, market-design mechanisms.

here's an interview with Parag in the WSJ
Q&A: How an Economist Unlocked Hidden Truths About School Choice
Parag Pathak of MIT, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal for the nation’s most impressive economist under 40, says he 'fell into the topic'

Here's the Economist's coverage:
A market-design economist wins the John Bates Clark medal
Parag Pathak’s market designs have influenced the lives of 1m schoolchildren

Here's the local angle:
Corning native wins John Bates Clark Medal
"The American Economic Association recently announced its decision to award the Clark Medal to Dr. Parag Pathak, a Corning native and graduate of Corning-Painted Post High School."

Should (government) economists be licensed? (Replies from a panel of academic economists)

The question below, on Occupational Licensing for Economists, is the latest question answered by the distinguished panel of (academic) economists who make up Chicago Booth's IGM Forum.  (IGM = Initiative on Global Markets.)

It took me a moment to parse the question, i.e. to figure out that "disagree" means that requiring a Ph.D. would be a good thing. (A number of those who did disagree nevertheless noted that the word "requiring" was perhaps stronger than they would like.)

For no particular reason, I'm reminded of the old Soviet joke about the party chairman reviewing the Victory Day Parade of troops marching and flying and riding before him in the Kremlin. At the end of the parade comes a jeep full of men in suits, and he inquires of the Field Marshall next to him on the grandstand: "Comrade Field Marshall, who are those people, and why are they in the parade?" To which the Field Marshall replies: Comrade Secretary, those are the economists. You have no idea the damage they can do."

I say it's a Soviet joke, but of course I heard in English, as a child in New York. So, during a visit to Moscow, I took the opportunity of saying to one of my local colleagues "I know a joke that I was told was an old Soviet joke." He listened to me tell it, and before I could identify the men in suits, he jumped in with the equivalent punchline he knew "they are Gosplan!"    So it turns out to be an old Soviet joke in Moscow as well as in NY.

That said, and to the point of the IGM question above, here in the U.S. I find myself missing the government economists of yore...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Antitrust and competition in an internet economy: conference at the Stigler Center

Here's where I'll be today (unfortunately only for the first day of a two day conference), speaking about promoting/preserving competition in matching markets:


APRIL 19–20, 2018

About the Conference
The economic and societal role of the handful of large companies known as “digital platforms" has grown dramatically in the last decade. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are not only transforming communication, media, and retail but have the potential to transform many other industries. While they invest billions in research and development and propel important innovation, they also raise many policy questions with regard to their dominance in many markets, the vast consumer data they collect and own, and their influence on the markets for news, information, and ideas. On April 19 and 20, 2018, the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business will dedicate its annual Antitrust and Competition conference to the topic of “Digital Platforms and Concentration.”
Issues to be discussed at the conference include, among others:
  • The characteristics and market power of two-sided markets 
  • How competition can be promoted in a world of network effects 
  • The economics of free products and the challenges they pose to antitrust and existing law 
  • The collection, monetization, and ownership of personal data 
  • Digital companies’ foray into the physical world
  • How and to what degree digital companies are involved in political decision making
  • How the startup ecosystem is affected by the presence of big players 
The invitation-only conference will bring together approximately 50 economists, law scholars, intellectuals, venture capitalists, and business people for two days of discussion. The keynote speakers will be Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Alvin Roth, the 2012 Nobel laureate in economics, and Jean Tirole, the 2014 Nobel laureate in economics.
The conference will be by invitation only. Individuals interested in receiving an invitation, please submit your invitation request here.
Watch Live
The conference will be LIVE-STREAMED. See video link HERE. 
Times are listed in Central Time.
Times are listed in Central Time.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m.
8:20 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.
Welcome remarks Guy Rolnik, Conference Organizer, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
8:25 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Opening remarks Daniel Diermeier, Provost, University of Chicago
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
The Rise of Digital Platforms
The economic and societal role of digital platforms has grown dramatically in the last decade. Are the large Internet companies really “platforms”? Can they have outsized influence in many market and industries? What explains the size and success of these companies? Are they designing their products to be addictive? What are the most important policy questions that these companies raise?
Moderator: Patrick Foulis, New York Bureau Chief, The Economist
  • Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist, American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology
  • Tristan Harris, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Center for Humane Technology
  • Kevin Murphy, George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics, Yale University School of Management
  • Chad Syverson, Eli B. and Harriet B. Williams Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Ben Thompson, Author and Founder, Stratechery
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. 
Big Data: Economic, Ownership, Legal, and Political Aspects
User data is arguably digital platforms’ most valuable asset. How data are used has profound economic, social, and political implications. What are these implications? Where along the value chain do data belong? Could reassigning ownership of the data and making it easily available to users promote competition and address privacy concerns?
Moderator: Ludwig Siegele, Technology Editor, The Economist
  • Julia Angwin, Senior Reporter, ProPublica
  • Dennis Carlton, David McDaniel Keller Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Richard Schmalensee, Howard W. Johnson Professor of Economics and Management and Dean Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Jonathan Taplin, Director Emeritus, Annenberg Innovation Lab, University of Southern California
  • Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance; Faculty Director, Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Keynote Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice
1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
The Big Five and Political Power
The largest technology companies—Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple—are active political players, using the traditional levers of lobbying and financing of research, think tanks, and political campaigns. However, it is their market power, and leverage over media outlets, that opens up new avenues for these platforms and foreign actors that exploit vulnerabilities in their systems to dominate and control the flow of political information among voters. How do they influence political discourse, the marketplace of ideas, and democracy more broadly?
Moderator: Matt Stoller, Fellow, Open Markets Insitute
  • Scott Cleland, President, Precursor LLC
  • Ellen Goodman, Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School and Co-director, Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law
  • Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Open Markets Institute
  • Guy Rolnik, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Digital Platforms: Market Power and Market Failures Digital platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter) rely on network effects to build vast ecosystems of users, advertisers and third-party developers, and to attain substantive market power. How should that market power be measured and what concerns does it raise for competition and entry? What are the market failures left unaddressed by these digital platforms and how should we expect them to govern their respective ecosystems? 
Moderator: Jesse Eisinger, Senior Reporter and Editor, ProPublica
  • Jay Pil Choi, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
  • Andrei Hagiu, Visiting Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Sarit Markovich, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy and Associate Chair of the Strategy Department, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
  • Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics, Yale University School of Management
  • Carl Shapiro, Professor of the Graduate School, Haas School of Business and Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Reception and dinner
Dinner Keynote - Alvin Roth, Nobel Laureate and Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Friday, April 20, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.
Breakfast Keynote - Mario Monti, President, Bocconi University; Former Prime Minister of Italy; Former EU Competition Commissioner
8:40 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Who’s Benefiting? Revisiting the Innovation and Start-Up EcosystemHow does the dominance of the digital platforms impact the startup ecosystem? As big digital players often scoop up startups or replicate startups’ ideas, what constitutes success for emerging startups? How does acquisition versus IPO serve competition and innovation? Is innovation concentrated mainly in the pre-acquisition phase? 

Moderator: Adam Lashinsky, Executive Editor, Fortune
  • Elvir Causevic, Managing Director and Co-Head, Tech+IP, Houlihan Lokey 
  • Matt Perault, Director, Public Policy, Facebook
  • Albert Wenger, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures
  • Glen Weyl, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England and Visiting Senior Research Scholar, Department of Economics and Law School, Yale University
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Can Government Resist Corporate Influence?
The Big Five have met little government intervention as they have gained dominance and brought about market consolidation. Has government treated digital platforms differently than other corporations? Are digital platforms more politically influential than other big corporations and, if so, why?
Moderator: Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor, Financial Timesand Global Economic Analyst, CNN
  • Alejandra Palacios, Commissioner and Chair, Mexico Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE)
  • Randal Picker, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Daniel Stevens, Executive Director, Campaign for Accountability, Google Transparency Project
  • Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance; Faculty Director, Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Keynote - Jean Tirole, Nobel Laureate and Chairman, Toulouse School of Economics
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
The Amazon Phenomenon
Amazon has transformed e-commerce and now begins its foray into the physical world with its acquisition of Whole Foods. The giant e-tailer offers a quintessential case study in how digital platforms are reimagining traditional markets and impacting society at large. Who will be “Amazoned” next? What lessons can we learn from Amazon’s experience with antitrust? As Amazon looks to situate its second headquarters, some believe the bid is a race to the bottom. What is the anticipated net impact of hosting the headquarters on a winner city and state?

Moderator: David Dayen, Contributing Writer, The Intercept
  • Joshua Gans, Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Lina Khan, Director, Legal Policy, Open Markets Institute
  • Maurice Stucke, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law and Of Counsel, The Konkurrenz Group
  • Ben Thompson, Author and Founder, Stratechery
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
US vs EU: Antitrust, Data, and Privacy Policy
Questions about digital markets and competition have begun gaining prevalence and commanding more regulatory attention. While the EU has taken aggressive measures against the digital platforms, including a €2.4 billion fine on Google and introducing significant privacy laws (GDPR), regulators in the United States have demonstrated a more lenient approach. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the EU versus US policy choices? 

Moderator: John O'Sullivan, Economics Editor, The Economist
  • Ariel Ezrachi, Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law and Director, Centre for Competition Law and Policy, University of Oxford
  • Justus Haucap, Director, Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics, Heinrich-Heine University of Duesseldorf
  • William Kovacic, Global Competition Professor and Director, Competition Law Center, George Washington University Law School
  • Gary Reback, Of Counsel, Carr & Ferrell LLP
  • Thomas Vinje, Partner and Chairman, Global Antitrust Group, Clifford Chance LLP
4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks - Luigi Zingales, Faculty Director, Stigler Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Frontiers of Market Design at Cornell (joint with EC), June 22

Frontiers of Market Design

The first Frontiers of Market Design workshop will be held in Cornell University, Ithaca, NY on June 22, 2018 in conjunction with the 19th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC).
Market design is a field of applied and theoretical research that sits comfortably on the intersection of economics and computer science. In recent decades, the theory and applications of market design have blossomed. In this workshop, we will focus on a set of promising, new applications of market design. In particular, we are interested in applications of market design which involve complex allocation constraints, vast datasets, and dynamic pricing issues. We also want to explore problems which, despite receiving ample theoretical attention, have not been implemented in practice. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that deal with new domains of market design as well as papers that discuss practical aspects of market design.


  • Submission deadline: May 1, 2018 11:59pm PDT.
  • Notification: May 13, 2018