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A Market-Based Mechanism for Allocating Space Shuttle Secondary Payload Priority

  • John Ledyard
  • David Porter
  • Randii Wessen

This is an investigation into the design of a market-based process to replace NASA's current committee process for allocating Shuttle secondary payload resources (lockers, Watts and crew). The market-based process allocates budgets of tokens to NASA internal organizations that in turn use the budget to bid for priority for their middeck payloads. The scheduling algorithm selects payloads by priority class and maximizes the number of tokens bid to determine a manifest. The results of a number of controlled experiments show that such a system tends to allocate resources more efficiently by guiding participants to make resource and payload tradeoffs. Most participants were able to improve their position over NASA's current ranking system. Furthermore, those that are better off make large improvements while the few that do worse have relatively small losses. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1009900310537
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 173-195

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:2:y:2000:i:3:p:173-195
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  1. Ledyard, John O. & Porter, David & Rangel, Antonio, . "Using Computerized Exchange Systems to Solve an Allocation Problem in Project Management," Working Papers 874, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Ledyard, John O. & Porter, David P., . "Allocating Uncertain and Unresponsive Resources," Working Papers 680, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Avi Wohl, 1997. "The Feasibility of an Index-Contingent Trading Mechanism," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(1), pages 112-121, January.
  4. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
  5. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  6. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
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