Monthly Archives: March 2016

Our Day Of Market Design

Al Roth with Taboo Trades seminar, March 23, 2016

Al Roth with Taboo Trades seminar, March 23, 2016

As I mentioned in my last post, 2012 Nobel Prize winner Al Roth visited Duke Law School this week as a guest of the Law & Markets project. We basically worked Al to death while he was here – he gave three talks in a single day: a casual morning discussion over coffee with my Taboo Trades students and select faculty; a lunchtime public lecture about his book, Who Get’s What And Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design; and an afternoon faculty workshop on Global Kidney Exchange (sometimes called Reverse Transplant Tourism). And that’s not counting the breakfasts, lunch, and dinner he had with faculty who wanted to hear even more about market design. I was exhausted from just watching him in action.

Those who know Al won’t be surprised by that, I suspect. As I’ve discussed before in prior posts (here and here), Al is deservedly well-known for his generosity in sharing his time and expertise with students, colleagues, and even know-nothings like me.

UnknownWhether by design or happy accident (I’m not sure which, though he is a market designer, hmm . . . ) there was little overlap in the content of the three talks, though each one built on the other and someone who attended all three (as many of us did) could gain new insight into market design at each stage. The morning session focused primarily on labor markets, especially the judicial clerkship market and market for summer associates and how that compared to the market for new medical residents. As Al discusses in the book, the market for judicial clerks, unlike the market for medical residents, is one in which attempts to prevent market unraveling have been largely unsuccessful. We talked a bit about why that might be and it was interesting to have that discussion among someone who has studied that market (Al), current market participants (the students), prior participants (law professors) and those who have negotiated some of the earlier (failed) agreements – law school administrators.

The lunch talk focused on the concept of market design more generally, but with an emphasis on school choice, kidney exchange, and high frequency trading as examples. The afternoon session was devoted to Al’s current work on repugnant transactions and Global Kidney Exchange, an issue we have both worked on with Mike Rees.

It was a really special day all around, but I was especially happy to get a chance to share Al in person with my Taboo Trades students. They have already spent more time thinking about repugnant transactions than most people ever will, and it was great for them to have a chance to meet “The Pied Piper of Repugnance,” as I referred to Al some years ago, in person. We memorialized his visit with us in the photo above.

Prior posts about Al Roth:

Tomorrow Is Al Roth Day!

Congratulations to Al Roth!

Al Roth: The Pied Piper of Repugnance?

Al Roth, Market Designer, in August Forbes

Scalping The Dalai Lama

Prior posts about Global Kidney Exchange/Reverse Transplant Tourism: collected here

Prior posts about the Taboo Trades seminar: collected here

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Duke Project On Law And Markets: Updates

In the fall, I posted about my school’s yearlong initiative on Law & Markets, led by Joseph Blocher and me. The initiative builds on the model developed a few years ago by my colleagues Curt Bradley and Mitu Gulati, when they ran a project on Law & Custom. Like the Custom and Law Project that precedes it, the Law and Markets Project includes a summer reading group (see here for a reading list), a full year of workshops dedicated to law and markets (see here for the schedule), a student seminar (course description here), two public lectures (I’ll post about those separately), and will culminate in a symposium and volume (this one will be published by Law & Contemporary Problems, a quarterly, interdisciplinary, faculty-edited publication of Duke Law School).

Now that we’re into the home stretch, I feel like we’ve achieved a number of the goals we set for ourselves with this project. We’ve hosted speakers from a variety of disciplines (including law, economics, philosophy, sociology, and history) who spoke on topics ranging from refugees, to tax, to credit default swaps, to egg, sperm, blood, and organ markets. We’ve learned a lot, forged stronger connections with some of our colleagues across campus, and had fun. I’m counting it a success.

I’ll be back with more to say about some specific lectures and workshops, but for now am posting the workshop posters here (I’ve been tweeting them as they arise, so if you want updates follow me @KimKrawiec).

Workshop Poster Spring 2016Workshop Poster[1][1]

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