Monday, March 31, 2014

I speak about repugnant transactions at the University of Kansas

Tomorrow, if you're in Lawrence Kansas:

Alvin Roth, "Not for Sale! Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets"

Bold Aspirations Lecture Series, 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, presented by School of Business, Departments of Economics and Philosophy
April 01, 2014
07:30 pm - 08:30 pm

Here's a link to a story in the local press: Nobel-winning economist to talk about the meeting of markets and morals

Edelman competition in OR, in Boston today

One of the more unusual presentations I've been involved in is going on in Boston today at the INFORMS conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research.  I'll be part of the team presenting the accomplishments of the Alliance for Paired Donation, at the  2014 Edelman Competition

Sponsored by CPMS, the Practice Section of INFORMS
Finalists will compete for the top prize in this “super bowl” of O.R. practice, showcasing analytics projects that had major impacts on their client organizations. The competition takes place on Monday and is open to all conference registrants. That evening, we will honor the finalists and announce the 2014 winner at the gala awards ceremony and banquet. Admission to the ceremony and banquet is included in your registration fee. On Tuesday, the 2014 winning presentation will be reprised as a plenary session. Past Edelman winners include: Dutch Delta Program Commissioner, TNT Express, Midwest ISO, Indeval, HP, Netherlands Railways, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Warner Robins Air Logistics, GM, Motorola, UPS and other top companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. For more information:
2014 Finalists
Alliance for Paired Donation With Boston College, Stanford University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for “Kidney Exchange”
U.S. Centers for Disease Control with KidRisk, Inc. for “Using Integrated Analytical Models to Support Global Health Policies to Manage Vaccine Preventable Diseases: Polio Eradication and Beyond”
The Energy Authority, for “Hydroelectric Generation and Water Routing Optimizer”
Grady Health System with Georgia Institute of Technology, for “Transforming Emergency Department Workflow and Patient Care”
NBN Co. with Biarri, for “Fiber Optic Network Optimisation at NBN Co.”
Twitter with Stanford University, for “The ‘Who To Follow’ System at Twitter: Strategy, Algorithms, and Revenue Impact”

The paper that our team submitted in support of this nomination is

"Kidney Exchange and the Alliance for Paired Donation," by
Ross Anderson, Itai Ashlagi, David Gamarnik, Michael Rees, Alvin E. Roth, Tayfun Sönmez and M. Utku Ünver

Here's a Boston College press release celebrating the participation of Sönmez and Ünver: BC Economists Co-Finalists for Edelman Prize

Update: and the winner is 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control with KidRisk, Inc. for “Using Integrated Analytical Models to Support Global Health Policies to Manage Vaccine Preventable Diseases: Polio Eradication and Beyond”

Here's the announcement: CDC Wins INFORMS Edelman Award, Leading Prize in Analytics, Operations Research for Polio Eradication

and here's a list of all the finalists: Franz Edelman Laureates: Class of 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dignity in dying (versus assisted suicide)

Views on what are repugnant transactions sometimes change, and it may be that those who are seeking change are wise to re-frame the issue.  Something like that is going on in the U.K. right now, where assisted suicide is illegal (as it is in most places).

Here's the website of the Campaign for Dignity in Dying, which says:
"We campaign to change the law to allow the choice of an assisted death for terminally ill, mentally competent adults, within upfront safeguards. You can help us make that change happen.

Under our current law, some dying people are forced to suffer against their wishes. If we can change the law no more people will die, but fewer will suffer. Change the law - take action."

Elsewhere they define: ASSISTED DYING
"Assisted dying is when a terminally ill, mentally competent adult, making the choice of their own free will and after meeting strict legal safeguards, takes prescribed medication which will end their life."

See previous posts.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Same sex marriage in England and Wales

The first same sex marriages in England and Wales were performed Friday. Here's the story from the NY Times: First Gay Marriages Take Place in England and Wales

"LONDON — Same-sex couples began marrying in London a minute after midnight on Friday, signifying the culmination of a campaign to end a distinction many British gay couples said made them feel like second-class citizens.

"Saturday was the first day that gay couples were allowed to tie the knot in England and Wales after the government legalized same-sex marriage in July.

"Gay couples have been allowed since 2005 to enter “civil partnerships,” conferring the same legal rights as marriage, but campaigners say the distinction gives the impression that society considers gay relationships inferior.
"Gay marriage has faced opposition from most religious groups despite shifting public attitudes in Britain in favor of it.

"The Church of England, which leads the world’s 80 million Anglicans, has struggled to reconcile rifts within its ranks over homosexuality as it seeks to tackle rising secularism and falling attendance rates.

"The leading Muslim, Catholic and Sikh groups in Britain were all against the passage of the same-sex marriage law.
"While the number of countries legalizing gay marriage has grown significantly since the Netherlands made the first move in 2000, only 17 currently allow gay couples to marry.

"France legalized it last year despite several protests drawings hundreds of thousands onto the streets of Paris.
"Scotland, which will hold a referendum on independence from Britain in September, was the latest country to pass same-sex marriage legislation last month, despite strong opposition from the Scottish Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

"In some other parts of the world, governments have been moving in the opposite direction, clamping down on gay rights.

"Uganda attracted international opprobrium in December when it passed a controversial law that makes some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison. Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African countries.

"Russia also faced criticism over a law signed by President Vladimir V. Putin last year banning the spread of “gay propaganda” among minors.

"In England and Wales, homosexuality was decriminalized in 1967, starting off a series of reforms to give gay people the same rights as everyone else."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Passports for sale? (in UK?)

Immigration policy is always a hot political issue in countries that face lots of demand, and one question is whether rich immigrants should be favored.  Lately this has been in the British press, not only because Malta and Bulgaria, members of the European Union, may be selling passports, but because there are proposals that Britain do so...

British passports for sale? Government's migration advisers say rich foreigners should be let in if they hand over money 
Migration Advisory Committee reveals controversial plan to MPs
Visas could be sold at auction or given to donors to universities
Proposal will be presented to the Home Office next month

 "Foreign millionaires will be able to ‘buy’ visas to live in Britain under radical plans drawn up by government advisers.
Migration Advisory Committee suggests people who give money to schools, universities or hospitals should be ‘let in’ to the UK.
It also proposes holding auctions for visas to be sold to the highest overseas bidder, but MPs warn the plan would bring ‘no benefit to the citizens of this country’.
The plan is likely to prove highly controversial, because the Home Office has previously opposed plans by other EU countries to effectively sell citizenship which would give them the right to settle in Britain.
Professor Sir David Metcalf, chairman of the MAC, told MPs that Britain had to examine new ways to attract wealthy investors to the country.
He said: ‘It may very well be that we should be auctioning some of these slots/
‘There should be proper discussion about it. Equally it may very well be that we should be letting people in if they endow a Cambridge college, a major teaching hospital or the London School of Economics with £10 million.’
The committee has been asked to examine the issue by Home Secretary Theresa May, and is expected to submit a report in February."

Passports for profit: British company to make 'disgusting amounts of money' from controversial EU passport sale

"A British company has been accused of making “disgusting amounts of money” from a controversial scheme by Malta to sell European Union passports to tycoons and celebrities ranging from a former Formula One world champion to a Chinese billionaire.

"Henley & Partners, a private company registered in Jersey which specialises in “citizenship solutions”, stands to make at least €60m (£49m) from its role as the designer and principal contractor for the scheme, which will sell passports for €1.15m a piece.

"The programme, which is due to begin processing its first applicants next month and will provide a right to reside anywhere in the EU, including Britain, has attracted sharp criticism both within the Mediterranean island and abroad.

"David Hanson, the shadow immigration minister, told The Independent he had “significant concerns” about the scheme because it offered a right to live in any EU country although the legality of the practice was questionable.

The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, has sharply criticised the scheme, adding: “Citizenship must not be up for sale.”


EU citizenship for sale to non-Europeans in Bulgaria for as little as £150,000
Undercover Telegraph reporters posing as representatives of an Indian businessman were told that a Bulgarian passport could be legally obtained without the need to live or work in Bulgaria

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Northwestern football players granted the right to form labor union

Here's the story: College Players Granted Right To Form Union

"CHICAGO — In a decision that has the potential to fundamentally reshape the N.C.A.A. and alter the relationship between universities and their athletes, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board sided with a group of Northwestern football players Wednesday, calling them employees who have the right to collectively bargain."

Here's the link to the NLRB page with the decision 

The parties have until April 9, 2014 to file with the Board in Washington, D.C. a Request for Review of the Decision.

Here's my post from Sunday with background.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Organ transplants and executed prisoners in China

It appears that China's reliance on executed prisoners for transplantable organs is unlikely to end soon, but will be incorporated into what Chinese officials hope will be a more transparent system:

Govt seeks fairness in organ donor system for inmates

Updated: 2014-03-07 07:20

By Shan Juan (China Daily USA)

"China is set to further strengthen the regulation of organ donations from executed prisoners and integrate it into the existing public voluntary organ donation and allocation system, according to a political adviser close to the situation.
Huang Jiefu, director of the China Organ Donation Committee and former vice-minister of health, made the remarks on Tuesday on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions.
"By doing that, organs from death-row inmates used for life-saving operations are secured in a fair, transparent, and corruption-free manner," he said.
Previously, organ donations from executed prisoners were handled inappropriately by "some doctors and law enforcement officers", which might lead to malpractice and corruption, he said.
To end that, "we will regulate the issue by including voluntary organ donations by executed prisoners in the nation's public organ donation system to help ensure an open and fair practice", he said.
China launched the system in 2010 to make it easier for the public to donate organs and ensure the organs are given based on need rather than the "highest bidders".
As of Sunday, 1,570 organ donations had been facilitated via the system, according to Huang.
Donations from executed prisoners were initially not covered by the system. Zhu Jiye, director of the liver and gallbladder surgical department of Peking University People's Hospital, called for changes to the system, to ensure that death-row inmates are not coerced into donating organs.
"We respect their right to donate, but it must be voluntary and their donated organs should be used fairly," he said.
According to Zhu, transplant surgery using organ donations from death-row inmates has declined in recent years, and there were only two such operations at his hospital last year.
Huang added: "China is gradually moving away from a long-term reliance on executed prisoners as a major source for organ donations."
In November, 38 out of the 165 transplant centers in China signed a declaration vowing to stop using donated organs from executed prisoners, according to Huang.
He expects that procedures that include the procurement and allocation of organs from inmates who have been executed will be integrated into the national system soon.
"We've reached consensus with the legal and law enforcement departments on that," he said.
To ensure that donations are voluntary, written consent from the inmate and the family is required, he said.
Another source who didn't want to be named but is close to the situation said written consent from the executed prisoner's lawyer will be added as well.
Also, only designated organ procurement organizations will be allowed to approach law enforcement departments regarding the issue, Huang said.
Most importantly, "donated organs from executed prisoners will be put into a computerized system to ensure fair allocation", he said.
"Any organ donations, including those by executed prisoners, have to go through the system and the computerized allocation process," he added.
Statistics from the National Health and Family Planning Commission show that about 300,000 Chinese people need organ transplants every year.
However, only around 10,000 eventually receive one."
HT: Jay Lavee

Here are some earlier posts on organ donation in China.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The (changing) market culture of recruiting college athletes early

Luke Coffman pointed out this article: Flipping out--More recruits are decommitting as college choices become business decisions, whose URL reads like a summary of the article 

It starts with this:
"Dalvin Cook makes no apologies for the wild ride on which he took recruiters over the past two years.

"The five-star running back from Miami Central, who enrolled last month at Florida State, pledged in June 2012 to Clemson. He switched his commitment to Florida in April 2013 before flipping to the Seminoles during an ESPNU interview on New Year's Eve while practicing for the Under Armour All-America Game.

"Amid the indecision, he signed scholarship paperwork with Florida, FSU and hometown Miami"

The story goes on
"As recruiting continues to accelerate into the freshman and sophomore years, prospects often reach decisions without an understanding of their opportunities.

"We just keep recruiting until the first Wednesday in February every year," UCLA defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Angus McClure said. "That's all you can do.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A union for college football players?

Here's the story from ESPN a little while ago:

For the first time in the history of college sports, athletes are asking to be represented by a labor union, taking formal steps on Tuesday to begin the process of being recognized as employees.
Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern University, submitting the form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.
Backed by the United Steelworkers union, Huma also filed union cards signed by an undisclosed number of Northwestern players with the NLRB -- the federal statutory body that recognizes groups that seek collective bargaining rights.
And here's the CBS coverage: Road ahead for college football players union isn't an easy one

The obstacles members of the Northwestern University Wildcats football team face on the road to forming a union are formidable.

First,  there are a myriad of legal questions that need to be answered, such as is there an employer/employee relationship that exists between the players and the Evanston, Ill. school that meets the criteria set by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Northwestern, not surprisingly, argues that such a relationship doesn't exist. Whether the players can make such a claim against the NCAA, which seems to be the focus of their wrath and also is opposed to their efforts, also is unclear. The players, though, do have the backing of the NFL Players Association, the union that represents their counterparts in the pros.

"Most of the grievances cited by the players concern the NCAA as a monopolistic cartel that wields unbalanced and unreasonable labor market power against the players in terms of compensation and scholarship limitations among other issues," writes Vanderbilt University Economist John Vrooman, a former college football player who studies the economics of sports, in an email. "The issue here is that the NCAA is clearly a cartel but it is not necessarily the employer."

The other obstacle facing the players affiliated with the National College Football Players Association is a practical one. Since members of the team graduate, creating a cohesive bargaining unit will be difficult if have to frequently recruit new members. That's one of the reasons why efforts to unionize teaching assistants on college campuses have faltered.
Here's a report from the first days of hearings:

Are College Athletes Employees? Former Labor-Board Chairman Says Yes

Here's an earlier, related post:

College football is big business (who knew?)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Timothy Taylor discusses the debate on whether selling a kidney should be legal

At his blog Conversable Economist, Timothy Taylor gives a nice summary of the arguments in the recent debate in the Journal of Medical Ethics that I posted about here.

Selling a Kidney?

He concludes:
"My sketch here cannot do justice to all of the arguments involved, but I will add two points. First, at present, the main source of kidney donations is people who die unexpectedly, with a few voluntary donors. In the meantime, thousands of Americans die every year awaiting a kidney transplant. I can easily imagine that a substantial group of healthy people might not be willing to donate a kidney for free, but would be willing to do so for substantial compensation, and encouraging transplants from healthy donors could save thousands of lives. Second, it troubles me that we often expect the donors of kidneys and blood to act out of sheer altruism, but we have no such expectation of any of the other participants in an organ transplant, like the health care providers or the hospital. "

Friday, March 21, 2014

Today is match day (for medical residents)

Here's the press release: U.S. Medical Students Learn 2014 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Main Residency Match Day Results in Ceremonies Today

"In the 2014 NRMP Main Residency Match results released today, more than 16,000 U.S. medical school seniors are among the 25,687 applicants who successfully matched to first-year residency positions. Students receive Match results today at their medical school Match Day ceremonies.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) March 20, 2014

Embargoed for release until 1:00 PM EDT, March 21, 2014

The National Resident Matching Program®(NRMP®) 2014 Main Residency Match® results released today show that 16,399 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors have matched to first-year residency positions. U.S. seniors around the country will celebrate these results at Match Day ceremonies being held today. Match Day is an annual rite of passage for U.S. medical school students and other applicants, a day when they learn at which U.S. residency programs they will train for the next three to seven years.

This year, the Match offered 29,761 first- and second-year positions, 500 more than in 2013 and an all-time high. More than half of the additional positions were in the primary care specialties of Internal Medicine and Family Medicine. According to NRMP Executive Director Mona M. Signer, the 2014 numbers continue a steady trend of position growth. In the past five years alone weve seen an increase of more than 4,000 positions, and more than half of those are in Internal Medicine and Family Medicine, Signer said.

Although the total number of registrants increased in 2014, the number of U.S. seniors declined. Eighty-nine fewer seniors registered for the Match and 113 fewer submitted rank order lists of programs. Thats a surprise, said Signer. She added, The good news is that the number of U.S. seniors choosing primary care continued to increase modestly, with 3,167 seniors matching in Internal Medicine and 1,398 in Family Medicine. An additional 1,818 seniors matched in Pediatrics, 19 fewer than last year.

Match Rates for Applicant Groups
This years Match included 40,394 registrants, 59 more than last year; however, 85 fewer applicants submitted rank order lists of programs. With more positions and fewer applicants competing for them, match rates rose for all key applicant groups. The overall match rate to first-year positions was 75 percent, the highest since 2006. The match rate for U.S. seniors was 94.4 percent, 0.7 percentage points higher than last year. Of the applicants who matched, 54 percent of U.S. seniors and almost 50 percent of all other applicants matched to their first choice for training.

Prior-year graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools, students and graduates of osteopathic (D.O. degree) schools, and students and graduates of international medical schools represent the other key applicant groups who submitted rank order lists of programs:

    1,662 previous graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools, an increase of 175 over last year; their match rate of 48.0 percent rose 7.2 percentage points
    2,738 osteopathic students/graduates, an increase of 61 over last year; their match rate of 77.7 percent was 2.9 percentage points higher than last year
    5,133 U.S. citizen students/graduates of international medical schools, 38 more than last year; their match rate of 53.0 percent was an increase of 0.2 percentage points
    7,334 non-U.S. citizen students/graduates of international medical schools, 234 fewer than last year; their match rate of 49.5 percent was an increase of 2.5 percentage points
Primary Care Specialty Trends and Position Fill Rates

With the total number of positions reaching an all-time high, increases were noted in the number of primary care programs and positions offered in the Match:

    Internal Medicine programs offered 6,524 positions, 247 more than in 2013; 99.1 percent of positions filled, and 48.5 percent filled with U.S. seniors
    Family Medicine programs offered 3,109 positions, 72 more than in 2013; 95.8 percent of positions filled, and 45 percent filled with U.S. seniors
    Pediatrics programs offered 2,640 positions, 24 more than last year; 99.5 percent of positions filled, and almost 70 percent filled with U.S. seniors
The most competitive specialties were Neurological Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and Radiation-Oncology, specialties that offered at least 50 positions in the Match and filled at least 90 percent with U.S. seniors.

Applicants who did not match to a residency position participate in the NRMP Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). During SOAP, the NRMP makes available the locations of unfilled positions so that unmatched applicants can apply for them using the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS). This year, 1,075 of the 1,181 unfilled positions were offered during SOAP.

Couples in the Match

The NRMP allows any two applicants to participate in the Match as a couple. Participants who enter the Match as a couple agree to have their rank order lists of preferred residency programs linked to each other so they can try to match to a pair of programs that suits their needs. This year, 925 couples participated in the Match and 843 of them matched to their residency program preferences.

Match Day Ceremonies

Match Day ceremonies begin at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 21, at U.S medical schools. Contact your local medical school for details and photographs or videos from their Match Day ceremonies.

The NRMP Match
The Match uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency program directors in order to fill training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for awarding The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2012."

Insider trading 2.0? New York State Attorney General talks about high frequency trading and market design

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been talking market design, in a lawman sort of way. Interestingly, he's interested in the proposal by Budish, Cramton and Shim for frequent batch auctions. (See previous posts here and here.)

Schneiderman: "We Will Continue to Shine a Light on Unseemly Practices That Cater to High-Frequency Traders at the Expense of Other Investors, and Other Forms of Insider Trading 2.0"

"As your Attorney General, I am the top law enforcement officer for the State of 
New York, which gives me a unique role to play in the oversight of Wall Street. 
And I take that very, very seriously. I spent most of my career in private practice 
before becoming Attorney General, which is really a distinction among 
Attorneys General in New York State. And I represented big financial firms; I 
represented stock and commodities markets. 

"And I am a believer in our market system, and I am a believer that our market 
can only function with strong, clear regulations, and uniform and equitable 
enforcement of those regulations. 

"We have to ensure that our markets work for the entire investing public, not 
just for a small number. And the Martin Act, which I hope you’ve heard of, 
empowers my office, and our Investor Protection Bureau in particular, to  investigate pretty much any fraudulent or deceptive practice in financial 

"One of the fundamental principles that drives every part of our office is a very 
simple, very American notion of equal justice under law. There has to be one 
set of rules for everyone. 
"But, as I mentioned, our capital markets can only succeed if investors view them 
as fair and as fairly regulated. 

"So that’s why we’ve been focusing on cracking down on fundamentally unfair – 
and potentially illegal – situations that fall outside the parameters of traditional 
insider trading but give elite groups of traders access to market-moving 
information at the expense of the rest of the market. 

"This is what we call Insider Trading 2.0, and it’s one of the greatest threats to 
public confidence in the markets. 
"Currently, on our exchanges, securities are traded continuously, which means 
that orders are constantly accepted and matched with ties broken based on 
which orders arrived first. This system rewards high-frequency traders who 
continuously flood the market with orders – emphasizing speed over price. 

"The University of Chicago proposal – which I endorse – would, in effect, put a speed bump in place. Orders would be processed in batches after short 
intervals – potentially a second or less than a second in length – but that would ensure that the price would be the deciding factor in who obtains a trade, not who has the fastest supercomputer and early access to market-moving information. 

"This structural reform – sometimes called “frequent batch auctions” -- would help catch and cap the supercomputer arms race now underway. This is 
tremendously important, because even advocates of high-frequency trading 
have always recognized that the potential for destabilization of the markets 
from volatility is a problem. 

"If you had frequent batch auctions, there’s no point in trying to get faster than 
whatever the interval is. It would discourage the risk taking that can cause flash 
crashes because, in the quest for greater and greater speed, there is, in and of 
itself, a threat to market stability. It rewards those who are taking chances. It 
rewards those who try risky new ways to gain a few milliseconds of speed. And that’s something we could put an end to if this proposal were successfully 
carried out. "

"Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today that he’s examining the sale of products and services that offer faster access to data and richer information on trades than what’s typically available to the public. Wall Street banks and rapid-fire trading firms pay thousands of dollars a month for these services from firms including Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.’s New York Stock Exchange."

..."frequent batch auctions, something that came out of the University of Chicago, not some enemy of free markets..."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Montreal conference on matching ( l’appariement), March 21-22

Here's the preliminary program...

Colloque CIREQ Montréal sur l’appariement
Programme préliminaire

VENDREDI, le 21 mars 2014 
9:00 – 10:30
SESSION I – Président : Umut DUR (North Carolina State University)

Peter Coles (ebay Research Labs), Yannai Gonczarowski (Hebrew University),Ran SHORRER (Harvard University)
Strategic Behavior in Unbalanced Matching Markets

Timo MENNLE (University of Zurich), Sven Seuken (University of Zurich)
An Axiomatic Approach to Characterizing and Relaxing Strategyproofness of One-sided Matching Mechanisms

Umut DUR (North Carolina State University), Onur Kesten (Carnegie Mellon University)
Sequential versus Simultaneous Assignment Problems and Two Applications

10:30 – 11:00

11:00 – 12:30
SESSION II - Président : Utku UNVER (Boston College)

Lars Ehlers (Université de Montréal, CIREQ), Alexander WESTKAMP (Maastricht University)
Strategy-Proof Tie-Breaking

David Cantala (El Colegio de México), Szilvia PAPAI (Concordia University, CIREQ)
Reasonably and Securely Stable Matching

Marek Pycia (UCLA), Utku UNVER (Boston College)
Incentive Compatible Allocation and Exchange of Indivisible Resources

12:30 – 14:00

14:00 – 16:00
SESSION III - Présidente : Bettina KLAUS (University of Lausanne)

Shuhei Morimoto (Kobe University), Shigehiro SERIZAWA (Osaka University)
Strategy-proofness and Efficiency with Non-quasi-linear Preferences : A Characterization of Minimum Price Walrasian Rule

Jens GUDMUNDSSON, Helga Habis (Lund University)
Assignment Games with Externalities

Tomoya KAZUMURA, Shigehiro Serizawa (Osaka University)
An Impossibility of Allocating Objects among Agents with Non-Quasi-Linear Preferences

Bettina KLAUS (University of Lausanne), Jonathan Newton (University of Sydney)
Stochastic Stability in Assignment Problems

16:00 – 16:30

16:30 – 17:45
KEYNOTE LECTURE : Tayfun SÖNMEZ (Boston College)
Kidney Exchange : Past, Present, and Potential Future

Dîner de conférence (sur invitation seulement)Restaurant Laloux, 250, Pine Avenue East

SAMEDI, le 22 mars 2014 
9:00 – 10:30
SESSION IV – Président : Jan Christoph SCHLEGEL (Université de Lausanne)

Madhav RAGHAVAN (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)
Fair Assignment with Capacity Constraints

Takashi AKAHOSHI (Waseda University)
Singleton Core in Many-to-One Matching Problems

Jan Christoph SCHLEGEL (Université de Lausanne)
Contracts versus Salaries in Matching : A General Result

10:30 – 11:00

11:00 – 12:30
SESSION V – Président : Panos TOULIS (Harvard University)

M. Bumin Yenmez (Carnegie Mellon University), Federico ECHENIQUE (California Institute of Technology)
How to Control Controlled School Choice

Péter Biró (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Elena IÑARRA (University of the Basque Country), Elena Molis (University of Granada)
Solutions Concepts for Unsolvable Roommate Problems

David C. Parkes (SEAS, Harvard University), Panos TOULIS (Harvard University)
A Random Graph Model of Multi-Hospital Kidney Exchanges

12:30 – 14:00

14:00 – 16:00
SESSION VI – Président : Vikram MANJUNATH (Université de Montréal, CIREQ)

* Chaque présentation de cette session sera de 20 minutes.
 (Turku School of Economics)
Nash Implementation of Stable Solutions in Many-to-One Matching Problems : The Case with No Complementarities

Samson ALVA (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Pairwise Stability and Complementarity in Many-to-One Matching

Mustafa Oğuz Afacan (Sabanci University), Bertan TURHAN (Boston College)
Assignment Maximization

Lars EHLERS (Université de Montréal, CIREQ)

Stability and Competitive Equilibrium in Networks with Bilateral Contracts

Vikram MANJUNATH (Université de Montréal, CIREQ), Bertan Turhan (Boston College)
When Two Should Be One but Aren’t : Milwaukee Public Schools and the Voucher System

16:00 – 16:30

16:30 – 18:00
SESSION VII – Président : Nizar ALLOUCH (Queen Mary University of London)

Claudia HERRESTHAL (Oxford University)
Mobility, Learning and School Choice

Albin Erlanson (Lund University), Karol SZWAGRZAK (University of Southern Denmark)
Strategy-proof Package Assignment

Nizar ALLOUCH (Queen Mary University of London)
The Cost of Segregation in Social Networks

Réception de clôtureColloque CIREQ Montréal sur l’appariement


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I speak to Stanford alums in LA this evening: Market Design as Economic Engineering

Wed, March 19, 2014
06:30PM - 09:00PM
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90049
Map address
Registration Period:
Kelly Lanter
Join us for an evening with Nobel Prize winner and Stanford Professor Alvin Roth at Skirball on Wednesday, March 19.
Professor Roth will be speaking on Market Design as Economic Engineering: Using Economics to Assign Doctors, Get Kids Into High School and Save Lives
Alvin Roth is a pioneer in game theory and experimental economics and in their application to the design of new economic institutions. His work on the theory of matching markets includes redesigning mechanisms for selecting medical residents; multistep kidney exchanges; and school choice in New York City, Boston, Denver and New Orleans. Professor Roth shared the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work on market design. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and a member of the National Academy of Science. He has also been a Guggenheim and Sloan fellow.
Schedule of Events
6:30 -7:30 p.m.: Reception with cash bar
7:30 -9:30 p.m.: Presentation and Q&A
Registration will open on Tuesday, February 4. This event includes light hors d'oeuvres, non-alcoholic beverages and a cash bar.
In the event this event does't sell-out prior to registration closing on March 13, registrations will be available at the door for the increased cost of $30 general admission and $20 young alumni (undergrads '04-'13, grads '09-'13).

Event Activities

Professor Roth at Skirball 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 6:30 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lacetera, Macis and Stith on removing financial barriers to bone marrow donation

Removing financial barriers to organ and bone marrow donation: The effect of leave and tax legislation in the US
Lacetera, Nicola ; Macis, Mario; Stith, Sarah S.
Volume: 33, Jan 2014, 43-56

Many U.S. states have passed legislation providing leave to organ and bone marrow donors and/or tax benefits for live and deceased organ and bone marrow donations and to employers of donors. We exploit cross-state variation in the timing of such legislation to analyze its impact on organ donations by living and deceased persons, on measures of the quality of the transplants, and on the number of bone marrow donations. We find that these provisions do not have a significant impact on the quantity of organs donated. The leave laws, however, do have a positive impact on bone marrow donations, and the effect increases with the size of the population of beneficiaries and with the generosity of the legislative provisions. Our results suggest that this legislation works for moderately invasive procedures such as bone marrow donation, but these incentives may be too low for organ donation, which is riskier and more burdensome. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

I speak about market design in Santa Barbara tomorrow

If you're in town, and particularly if you're a Stanford alum, here's a chance to relive sitting in a lecture hall:)

Event Details

Tue, March 18, 2014
05:00PM - 07:30PM
Cabrillo Pavilion
1118 E. Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 
Map address
Registration Period:
Kim Bluitt, '92
Nobel Laureate and Stanford professor Alvin Roth applied market design to improve the residency matching process for doctors in the United States, the admissions process for New York City, Boston, Denver, and New Orleans public high schools, and the matching process for multistep kidney exchanges. Join fellow Stanford alumni and friends as Professor Roth shares how he brought together theory, evidence and design in an innovative fashion to turn his research into practical value.
Our schedule:
Reception from 5:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
Presentation and Q&A beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

House debates support for NSF, social science

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has the (gated) story: House GOP Allows Some Compromise in Bid to Focus NSF on Economic Value

"... in a sign of future compromise before the bill reaches the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Republican majority on the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology accepted nine separate Democratic amendments, including a partial retreat from plans to severely cut the NSF’s budget for social-science research.
"[Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, the top Democrat on the subcommittee] listed economically valuable products of social-science research, including studies that help the police anticipate crime patterns and analyses that more efficiently match kidney donors and recipients. Reaching inside the NSF to set directorate-by-directorate budget limits—a practice that Congress already employs with the National Institutes of Health—"may open the door for partisan meddling from either side of the aisle," he said."

The IGM panel of economists speaks (in many voices) on paying for kidneys

The Initiative on Global Markets is an opinion poll of leading academic economists on a large variety of public policy questions, which they can answer on a range from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree," along with "uncertain" or "no opinion". They are also asked to assess their confidence in their answer A recent question was
Supplying Kidneys: A market that allows payment for human kidneys should be established on a trial basis to help extend the lives of patients with kidney disease.

Here's a histogram of replies

Some answers were accompanied by comments, and I include all of those below...

AutorDavid AutorMITNo Opinion
Not enough info to answer. Not in favor of a kidney market that sells to highest bidder. Other ideas maybe. Question is not actionable. 
Bio/Vote History
BanerjeeAbhijit BanerjeeMITDisagree8
That would mean valuing people's lives by their incomes. We already do that but moving further in that direction seems wrong. 
Bio/Vote H
BrunnermeierMarkus BrunnermeierPrincetonAgree6
It is important that the market is "well regulated" in order to avoid abuse and exploitation of the vulnerables. 
ChevalierJudith ChevalierYaleStrongly Agree9
This certainly may have unintended consequences but it is hard to fault attempting to create more supply.
DuffieDarrell DuffieStanfordAgree3
Under strong governance that mitigates exploitation, this market may save lives on mutually consenting terms.
Bio/Vote History
EdlinAaron EdlinBerkeleyUncertain7
Dangerous ground, but a well-regulated experiment could be beneficial. Payments to fill out donor cards might increase supply, for example 
Bio/Vote History
EichengreenBarry EichengreenBerkeleyUncertain1
A market with or without subsidies for low income patients?
HallRobert HallStanfordUncertain9
Hard to know because we don't have much of an understanding of why people make organ gifts.
Bio/Vote History
HartOliver HartHarvardAgree8
I'd like to see it but I'm not sure the public is ready. Also would insurance cover this? Would people be able to top up (presumably)?
HoxbyCaroline HoxbyStanfordUncertain8
Would improve allocative efficiency but means- and health-conditioned vouchers would presumably have to be used to address ethical concerns.
JuddKenneth JuddStanfordStrongly Agree10
There is no reason to block this voluntary exchange. There may be unique challenges in applying laws against fraud, but nothing too hard.
NordhausWilliam NordhausYaleAgree5
Perhaps experiments in different regimes better idea.
SamuelsonLarry SamuelsonYaleDisagree6
We need to rationalize our organ allocation mechanism, but a market is not the only way, and is not obviously the best way. 
SchmalenseeRichard SchmalenseeMITUncertain7
How to deal with donors who don't understand risks, increased incentives to steal & import, perceived inequities...? Not simple.
ShapiroCarl ShapiroBerkeleyAgree8
Experiments seem valuable here, using health outcomes as our metric. Matching donors and recipients based in part on payment may be helpful.
Bio/Vote History
ShimerRobert ShimerChicagoStrongly Agree7
The biggest impact would be to increase kidney supply, so few obvious losers from this policy
Bio/Vote History
StokeyNancy StokeyChicagoUncertain1
It would surely save lives of those with kidney disease. It would probably have unintended consequences as well.
Bio/Vote History
ThalerRichard ThalerChicagoUncertain5
How should we incorporate the fact that nearly all non-economists hate this idea? Do we declare them wrong and proceed?
Bio/Vote History
UdryChristopher UdryYaleStrongly Agree1
As an economist, I strongly agree that there would be tremendous gains. But I'm uncertain of the appropriate bounds on market transactions.
-see background information here
-see background information here