Many scarce public resources are allocated at below-market-clearing prices, and sometimes for free. Such “non-market” mechanisms necessarily sacrifice some surplus, yet they can potentially improve equity. In this paper, we develop a model of mechanism design with redistributive concerns. Agents are characterized by a privately observed social welfare weight and willingness to pay for quality, as well as a publicly observed label. A market designer controls allocation and pricing of a set of objects of heterogeneous quality, and maximizes the expectation of a welfare function defined by the social welfare weights. They derive structural insights about the form of the optimal mechanism, leading to a framework for determining how and when to use non-market mechanisms. The key determinant is the strength of the statistical correlation of the unobserved social welfare weights with the label and the willingness to pay that the designer can, respectively, directly observe or elicit through the mechanism.

Speaker

Piotr Dworczak

Northwestern University, Evanston, USA

Download Paper “Redistributive Allocation Mechanisms” as PDF file

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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 idea for this format was borrowed from the Chamberlain Seminar. Other online seminars can be found at the AEA website.

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.

Date

15.02.2021 | 16:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Event Location

Online


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