Algorithms produce a growing portion of decisions and recommendations both in policy and business. Such algorithmic decisions are natural experiments (conditionally quasi-randomly assigned instruments) since the algorithms make decisions based only on observable input variables. The authors use this observation to develop a treatment-effect estimator for a class of stochastic and deterministic decision-making algorithms. Their estimator is shown to be consistent and asymptotically normal for well-defined causal effects. A key special case of their estimator is a multidimensional regression discontinuity design. They apply our estimator to evaluate the effect of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, where hundreds of billions of dollars worth of relief funding is allocated to hospitals via an algorithmic rule. Their estimates suggest that the relief funding has little effect on COVID-19-related hospital activity levels. Naive OLS and IV estimates exhibit substantial selection bias.
If you would like to participate and to stay up to date about upcoming presentations, please join our mailing list. You will receive the Zoom link for each talk.
The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes: 45 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes for both comments and questions.
We will experiment with various methods for questions: A moderator collects questions during the presentation. Speakers will be encouraged to pause every few slides to allow a gap for questions. The moderator will relay clarification questions or unmute selectively during the talk. Remaining questions will be collected and asked in the discussion period.
Just like with other initiated virtual seminars, these rules are subject to change as we gain experience with how to handle the seminar most efficiently.
The Virtual Market Design Seminar is an open online alternative to seminars cancelled due to the COVID-19. Seminars will cover all fields from market design. The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, after 45 minutes of presentation, 15 minutes are for both comments and question.