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Colloquium Series

We are excited to highlight exemplary work at this interface through a monthly online colloquium series. You can find below a list of the past and upcoming talks as well as details for attending the talks:

Upcoming Talks

Alvin Roth, Stanford University

Date: Thursday, December 13th, 12:00-1:30 PM EST
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku-ZRSB82SU.


Al Roth is a professor of Economics at Stanford. He shared the 2012 Nobel prize in Economics for “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design”.


Market design is more complicated than mechanism design. And so is achieving good social outcomes.

Marketplaces are often small parts of large markets, and so potential marketplace participants may have large strategy sets, that include actions taken outside of the marketplace. And markets require social support, so the behavior of people who do not intend to participate in the market may nevertheless be important for market design. This talk will illustrate these points with some examples, drawing on experience from the design of school choice systems and kidney exchange clearinghouses.


Past Talks

Canice Prendergast, University of Chicago

Date: Monday, November 12th, 1:00-2:30 PM EST
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5jrklYc1ag


Canice Prendergast is the author of "The Limits of Bureaucratic Efficiency" published in the Journal of Political Economy in 2003 and "The Tenuous Trade-Off Between Risk and Incentives" that appeared in the Journal of Political Economy in 2002. Prendergast is widely published, with work appearing in the Economic Journal, the Journal of Labor Economics, the American Economic Review, the Journal of the Japanese and International Economics, and the European Economic Review. Articles on his recent research have appeared in Fortune Magazine, the Financial Times, the Economist, and Der Spiegel.


The Allocation of Food to Food Banks

Feeding America distributes food to food banks across the United States. In 2005, it transitioned from a centralized allocation process to one where local affiliates would bid for food items through an online auction mechanism. To do so, it constructed a specialized currency called “shares”. The change, its necessary idiosyncrasies, and outcomes are described here. We both show that the new system exhibits desirable theoretical properties, and document considerable welfare implications. The choices of the food banks vary enormously from the allocations they received under the old system, and much of this gain is from sorting of food banks along the quality-quantity dimension. Furthermore, supply of food rose by roughly 100 million pounds around the time of its introduction. A structural exercise estimates that the value of reallocated demand effectively meant that each pound of food allocated through this system increased efficiency by almost another additional pound.