Showing posts sorted by relevance for query signaling AND economist. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query signaling AND economist. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, November 27, 2015

Econ Job market: send two signals by this weekend!

If you are a new Ph.D. economist on the job market, Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and now is the time to send two signals through the AEA. (The deadline is Monday, but if you wait til then you might forget to get your signal in in time: it's 5pm Eastern Standard Time.) The idea is that you can help break through the congestion for interviews at the AEA meetings, by sending signals to two employers who might otherwise think you were unlikely to be interested enough in them for them to devote one of their interview slots to you.

Don't over-think this (it's not that big a deal), but do send two signals to places at which you'd be glad to get an interview but which might not realize that about you.

Here's the link:

The AEA coordinates a mechanism through which applicants can signal their interest in receiving an interview at the January meetings. In mid-November, each registered JOE candidate on the economics job market will have the opportunity to register and designate no more than two departments (or other employers) to whom to send a signal of particular interest. The AEA will transmit these signals to the departments the candidates choose. (Signals will not be made public.) Employers do not need to do anything to register to receive signals; signals will be sent automatically to the email address provided at the time the JOE listing was submitted.
Please see Signaling for Interviews in the Economics Job Market for a detailed description as well as theTerms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2015 Signaling Timeline:

-2015 Signaling Registration & Signal Selection is now open.
-2015 Signaling Registration & Signal Selection will close on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
-2015 Signals will be sent to employers on December 2, 2015.
Please contact aea_signals "at" with any questions or problems.
You must be logged in as a candidate to participate in signaling.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reputation in online marketplaces

Two recent NBER papers tell us about trust, quality, and reputation in online marketplaces.

Lingfang (Ivy) Li, Steven Tadelis, Xiaolan Zhou
Working Paper 22584,

ABSTRACT: Reputation is critical to foster trust in online marketplaces, yet leaving feedback is a public good that can be under-provided unless buyers are rewarded for it. Signaling theory implies that only high quality sellers would reward buyers for truthful feedback. We explore this scope for signaling using Taobao's "reward-for-feedback" mechanism and find that items with rewards
generate sales that are nearly 30% higher and are sold by higher quality sellers. The market design implication is that marketplaces can benefit from allowing sellers to use rewards to build reputations and signal their high quality in the process.

Michael Luca
Working Paper 22616,

ABSTRACT: Online marketplaces have proliferated over the past decade, creating new markets where none existed. By reducing transaction costs, online marketplaces facilitate transactions that otherwise would not have occurred and enable easier entry of small sellers. One central challenge faced by designers of online marketplaces is how to build enough trust to facilitate transactions between strangers. This paper provides an economist’s toolkit for designing online marketplaces, focusing on trust and reputation mechanisms.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The signaling deadline for the econ job market is tomorrow, Tuesday, at midnight

If you are an economist on the jobmarket, planning to be interviewed at the ASSA meetings in January, and if you haven't submitted your two signals yet, now is the time. You can register and select your signals here.

(For everyone else, here is a description of signaling, it's a process by which job candidates can have the American Economic Association send an indication of particular interest to two potential employers out of the many they have sent applications to. The idea is that a limit to two special signals helps employers sort through the many applications they receive when it is time to decide who to interview at the national meetings in January.)

The deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, at midnight (2400 EST).

The December JOE is out, so there won't be any new job listings before tomorrow.

Now is the time to chat with your advisor, and send your two signals. (It can't hurt and might help, see the paper linked to in yesterday's post.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Signals and interviews in the transition from medical school to residency

Late last year I was interviewed by Dr. Seth Leopold, who is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.   That interview has just appeared ahead of print on the journal's website: 

A Conversation with … Alvin E. Roth PhD, Economist, Game Theorist, and Nobel Laureate Who Improved the Modern Residency Match  by Leopold, Seth S. MD, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: April 7, 2021 - Publish Ahead of Print - doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000001758

Here's one part of our Q&A:

Dr. Leopold:You once commented in a Not the Last Word column in CORR® that the Match might be improved if a bit more room could be made for candidates to send “signals” to programs that indicate particular interest[5]; if you could make one change to the Match right now to make it fairer all around, what would that change be?

Dr. Roth: I don’t yet know enough about the whole pre-Match process of applications and interviews to answer that confidently. I’m hoping to gain access to data that will illuminate more clearly how applications lead to interviews, and how interviews interact with other kinds of information to influence what rank-order lists are submitted by applicants and programs. Some of that process is surely in flux, between the pandemic causing interviews to be conducted remotely and the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 going pass/fail. Signaling is a way to address miscoordination in interviewing (such as whether too many interviews are concentrating on too few candidates), but there are other ways the interview process might be broken that might better be addressed by other tweaks in how interviews are organized.

Dr. Leopold:I believe the study you’re proposing here would find a very attentive audience, both in medical schools and residency programs across the country, especially competitive ones like orthopaedic surgery. Based on other kinds of markets you’ve evaluated—I recognize I’m asking you to speculate—what do you think you might find here?

Dr. Roth: Presently, in at least some specialties, many interviews are conducted for each residency and fellowship position. It could be that interviews play a critical role in allowing programs and applicants to assess each other, regardless of the other information they may have. But it could also be that at least some interviews are being conducted “defensively,” because all the interviews that others are participating in make it hard for each program or applicant to predict how likely any interview will lead to a position being offered and accepted in the Match. So, it is possible that there is “too much” interviewing, in the sense that in perhaps predictable ways, some programs are interviewing some candidates they can virtually never hire, and some candidates they would never want to hire. Conversely, applicants are interviewing for some jobs they have hardly any chance of being offered, and some they sensibly think they won’t need to take. Of course, some things can be predictable even if they can’t be predicted by individual applicants and programs with the information they now have available. It might therefore be possible to suggest institutional reforms that would help reduce the uncertainty in deciding which interviews to offer. That might also reduce the number (and costs) of interviews. (In just such a way, the Match helped solve the problem of uncertainty involved in offers and acceptances, back when offers were exploding.) And there’s a possibility that fewer interviews could make everyone better off in terms of expectations, particularly if participants on both sides of the market will feel a reduced need to do so many interviews if everyone else reduces the number they do. But as you say, until we can look into this carefully, I’m just speculating.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Are there too many interviews for medical residencies and fellowships? Should there be an interview Match?

A recent article in JAMA considers the question in the title of this post:

September 21, 2018
Matching for Fellowship Interviews
Marc L. Melcher, MD, PhD; Itai Ashlagi, PhD; Irene Wapnir, MD

"Most surgical training programs interview many candidates because the consequences of not matching harms the reputation of the program and affects the work force of their services.5 Surveys of pediatric surgery program directors in 2011, 2012, and 2014 revealed that they interviewed a median of 24 to 30 candidates per year. However, the median rank at which the programs matched was less than 4, and programs never matched beyond their 12th choice, suggesting that they did not need to interview as many residents as they did.
"instituting an interview match may be one approach to help improve the interview selection process by reducing the large numbers of unfruitful and costly fellowship interviews. For example, Ashlagi et al7 found in a theoretical matching model that when candidates and programs each have highly heterogeneous preferences, limiting the number of interviews improved the efficiency of the matching process. Thus, fellowship interview matches represent an opportunity to reduce the excessive number of interviews and optimize the selection of applicants.

"A practical strategy that may achieve this goal is an interview match that precedes the existing match. After applications are submitted, candidates and programs submit rank lists that could be used to fill limited interview slots. Mechanisms that enable applicants and training programs to signal interest in each other have been proposed.4,7 By ranking candidates and programs highly, both essentially are respectively signaling their strong preference for each other.4 Therefore, fewer interviews might be sufficient for candidates and programs to identify mutually desirable matches and reduce the number and costs of interviews. If the program and candidate interview slots remain unfilled, a secondary match could be performed to fill unmatched interview slots.
"n conclusion, a well-designed interview match may help reduce excessive costly interviews while more efficiently pairing candidates and programs, so that both achieve as many highly ranked choices as possible. This strategy could be applied broadly to matching programs in other medical specialties and may be attractive at earlier career stages such as residency interviews."

And here's a related news story on the Stanford Medical School site:

The current fellowship interview process is cumbersome — Stanford researchers have a better idea

"In their fourth and fifth years, surgical residents are busy: They're caring for patients, assisting junior trainees and fulfilling their own training requirements. And that's not all: About 75 percent of these residents are scrambling to squeeze in interviews for fellowships across the country, often packing in between 6 and 15 interviews to ensure they secure a spot, Stanford transplant surgeon Marc Melcher, MD, PhD, told me.

"Fellowship program directors, including Stanford surgeon Irene Wapnir, MD, who directs the breast surgical fellowship, are similarly harried. To fill typically one position, the directors can interview 20 or more doctors to find a quality candidate whose interests match their program.
"The process is also expensive and time-consuming. When experienced residents leave, their coworkers need to cover for them, and the residents must pay their own way to travel to interviews, Melcher said.
"Melcher and Wapnir reached out to their Stanford Engineering colleague Itai Ashlagi, PhD, who specializes in the design and analysis of marketplaces, such as matching kidney donors with recipients.  Together with Alvin Roth, PhD, a Stanford economist, they're proposing a new fellowship interview matching system. Their concept appears in JAMA.
"The researchers propose two key changes. First, applicants and programs would signal their preferences for each other — before making travel arrangements and setting aside days of valuable physician time. In addition, the number of interviews for each fellowship program would be capped, as would the number of interviews for each candidate, Melcher said."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Final remarks in our market design class

Harvard's new academic calendar and Thanksgiving combined to produce an early end to the lecture part of our Market Design class. I ended with some concluding remarks (here are the accompanying slides: 12.3 concluding remarks ).

One remark is that market design is an eclectic field, drawing on game theory, experiments, computation, and field observation of all sorts (rules are data!).

Teaching the class over the last not-quite-a-decade has been an invigorating intellectual experience. When Paul Milgrom and I began the class (when he spent a year at Harvard in 2001), he had the FCC spectrum auction experience under his belt, and I had the redesign of the National Resident Matching Program under mine, and we had plenty of ideas.

I entertained a faint worry that, at the end of the decade, those might still be the only major applications we had to talk about. But, as things turned out, we can no longer fit all the newly implemented market designs into one course (and Susan Athey will again teach a second semester of Market Design, focused on many recent auction applications, in the Spring). Among the designs we talked about this semester are other health care labor markets, Kidney Exchange, School choice mechanisms, signaling for new economists, internet ad auctions, and more.

I've also been gratified by developments in market design as a field of study. Not only have there been successful applications, there's starting to be an academic literature focused on practical market design, and the theoretical and empirical questions it raises. While there are still some special obstacles that have to be overcome to publish market design papers in general economics journals, we've come a long way since I worried about that in my 2002 paper "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics.

As I remarked in two earlier posts (see Market design is coming of age, and Market design courses this Fall at Harvard and MIT) another sign that the field is healthy is that it is attracting some of the most creative young minds. Some alumni of Harvard and the course who are presently active in market design and/or matching are Estelle Cantillon (with whom I taught the course for two years), Muriel Niederle, John Asker, Nicole Immorlica, Mohammad Mahdian, Michael Ostrovsky, Parag Pathak, Fuhito Kojima, Robin Lee, Mihai Manea, Eric Budish, and Scott Kominers.