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An Invitation to Market Design

Author

Listed:
  • Scott Kominers

    () (Harvard Business School)

  • Alexander Teytelboym

    () (Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford)

  • Vincent Crawford

    (Oxford University)

Abstract

Market design seeks to translate economic theory and analysis into practical solutions to real-world problems. By redesigning both the rules that guide market transactions and the infrastructure that enables those transactions to take place, market designers can address a broad range of market failures. In this paper, we illustrate the process and power of market design through three examples: the design of medical residency matching programs; a scrip system to allocate food donations to food banks; and the recent “Incentive Auction” that reallocated wireless spectrum from television broadcasters to telecoms. Our lead examples show how effective market design can encourage participation, reduce gaming, and aggregate information, in order to improve liquidity, efficiency, and equity in markets. We also discuss a number of fruitful applications of market design in other areas of economic and public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Kominers & Alexander Teytelboym & Vincent Crawford, 2017. "An Invitation to Market Design," Working Papers 2017-069, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2017-069
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    Keywords

    matching; auctions; trading; scrip; liquidity; Efficiency; equity; allocation rules; marketplaces; market design;

    JEL classification:

    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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