MGTECON 615 - Topics in Market Design
Spring 2011
Prof. Michael Ostrovsky

This class will focus on several topics in market design and related areas. It is intended as a sequel to the more "standard" market/mechanism/auction design courses offered at the GSB and the Economics department (Mgtecon 602 and Econ 285), and I will assume that you are familiar with the material in those courses. The goal of 615 is to bring you closer to doing independent research and introduce you to currently active research areas.

We will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:45am - 12:15pm, in room C101 in the new GSB campus (click here to see the map). The first class is on Thursday, March 31.

The course will consist of three (unequal) parts. In the first third, we will cover two theoretical areas in depth: information in dynamic markets and information in auctions. In the second third, we will devote a few lectures to covering some more immediately practical areas of market design: school choice and matching market design; revenue optimization in advertising auctions; and possibly some other topics. Finally, the last third of the course will be devoted to student presentations of recent research papers as well as their own research proposals.

There will be several assignments in this course. First, you will need to prepare a research proposal (or a careful exploration of an interesting market) by the end of the quarter. You will first need to submit a 1-page proposal idea fairly early in the course; then you will need to prepare an up to 5-page proposal by the end of the quarter and give a short presentation about it in one of the last two classes of the quarter. Another assignment (around mid-quarter) will be to write a referee report on a recent paper that I will provide. Finally, sometime in the last third of the quarter, each you will give a full presentation of a recent research paper or group of research papers on a particular topics. We will schedule these presentations later in the quarter.

The tentative class schedule is below, and will likely change as we go along. Reading lists from the 2008 and 2009 versions of this class are available here and here. Typically, "starred" readings will be covered in class ("dated" readings are the ones we've already covered), and the rest will not be.

March 31, April 5, 7, 12 - Information in dynamic markets; Prediction markets

Background reading: Justin Wolfers and Eric Zitzewitz (2004), "Prediction Markets", Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Theoretical foundations

(3/31) Robert Aumann  (1976), "Agreeing to Disagree", Annals of Statistics.

(3/31) John Geanakoplos and Heraklis Polemarchakis (1982), "We Can't Disagree Forever", JET.

(3/31) Lars Tyge Nielsen et al. (1990), "Common Knowledge of an Aggregate of Expectations", Econometrica.

(4/5) Paul Milgrom and Nancy Stokey (1982), "Information, Trade and Common Knowledge", JET.

(4/5) Nicolas Lambert (2011), "Elicitation and Evaluation of Statistical Forecasts", working paper.

(4/5) Robin Hanson (2007), "Logarithmic Market Scoring Rules for Modular Combinatorial Information Aggregation", Journal of Prediction Markets.

(4/5) Y. Chen, D. Reeves, D. Pennock, R. Hanson, L. Fortnow, and R. Gonen (2007), "Bluffing and Strategic Reticence in Prediction Markets", WINE '07.

(4/5) Antoine Lallour (2011), "Speed of Information Aggregation", working paper (not available).

(4/5) Stanko Dimitrov and Rahul Sami (2008), "Non-myopic Strategies in Prediction Markets", ACM EC '08.

David Pennock (2006), "Implementing Hanson's Market Maker", blog post.

Yiling Chen and David Pennock (2007). "A Utility Framework for Bounded-Loss Market Makers," Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence.

(combined published version of Chen et al. '07 and Dimitrov and Sami '08) Y. Chen, S. Dimitrov, R. Sami, D. Reeves, D. Pennock, R. Hanson, L. Fortnow, and R. Gonen (2010), "Gaming Prediction Markets: Equilibrium Strategies with a Market Maker", Algorithmica.

(4/7) Albert Kyle (1985), "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading", Econometrica.

(4/12) F. Douglas Foster and S. Viswanathan (1996), "Strategic Trading When Agents Forecast the Forecasts of Others", Journal of Finance.

(4/12) Kerry Back, C. Henry Cao, and Gregory A. Willard (2000), "Imperfect Competition among Informed Traders", Journal of Finance.

Jayasri Dutta and Stephen Morris (1997), "The Revelation of Information and Self-Fulfilling Beliefs", JET.

Peter DeMarzo and Constantinos Skiadas (1998), "Aggregation, Determinacy, and Informational Efficiency for a Class of Economies with Asymmetric Information", JET

Peter DeMarzo and Constantinos Skiadas (1999), "On the Uniqueness of Fully Informative Rational Expectations Equilibria", Economic Theory.

Jean-Jacques Laffont and Eric S. Maskin (1990), "The Efficient Market Hypothesis and Insider Trading on the Stock Market", JPE.

(4/12) Michael Ostrovsky (2009), "Information Aggregation in Dynamic Markets with Strategic Traders", working paper. *Slides*

Rene Caldentey and Ennio Stacchetti (2008), "Insider Trading with a Random Deadline", working paper.

Empirical Evidence and Other Designs

Continuous double auctions

Kay-Yut Chen and Charles Plott (2002), "Information Aggregation Mechanisms: Concepts, Design, and Implementation for a Sales Forecasting Problem", working paper.

Bo Cowgill, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitzewitz (2008), "Using Prediction Markets to Track Information Flows: Evidence from Google", working paper.

Parimutuel betting markets

Charles Plott, Jorgen Wit, and Winston Yang (2003), "Parimutuel Betting Markets as Information Aggregation Devices: Experimental Results," Economic Theory.

David Pennock (2004), "A Dynamic pari-mutuel market for hedging, wagering, and information aggregation", ACM EC'04.

April 14 - Information aggregation and allocative efficiency in smooth markets
Guest lecture by Krishnamurthy Iyer

* K. Iyer, R. Johari, and C. C. Moallemi (2010), "Information Aggregation and Allocative Efficiency in Smooth Markets", working paper.

April 19, 21, 26 - Information in auctions

Background reading 1: Tim Loughran and Jay Ritter (2004), "Why Has IPO Underpricing Changed Over Time?", Financial Management.

Background reading 2: Joe Nocera (2006), "Open and Fair: Why Wall St. Hates Auctions", New York Times.

Background reading 3: Rackspace IPO (took place in the Spring and Summer of 2008)

Background reading 4: Ravi Jagannathan, Andrei Jirnyi, and Ann E. Sherman (2009), "Why Don’t Issuers Choose IPO Auctions? The Complexity of Indirect Mechanisms", working paper.

Background reading 5: Francois Degeorge, Francois Derrien, and Kent Womack (2010), "Auctioned IPOs: The US Evidence," JFE.

Background reading 6: John C. Rudolf (2009), "Auctions for Troubled Property Loans Jump to the Web", New York Times.

Survey: Dirk Bergemann and Juuso Valimaki (2007), "Information in Mechanism Design", in Proceedings of the 9th World Congress of the Econometric Society.

Information aggregation

* Franklin Allen, Stephen Morris, and Hyun Song Shin (2006), "Beauty Contests and Iterated Expectations in Asset Markets", Review of Financial Studies.

Robert Wilson (1977), "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition", Review of Economic Studies.

Wolfgang Pesendorfer and Jeroen Swinkels (1997), "The Loser's Curse and Information Aggregation in Common Value Auctions", Econometrica.

Ilan Kremer (2002), "Information Aggregation in Common Value Auctions", Econometrica.

R.M. Harstad, A. Pekec, and I. Tsetlin (2008), "Information Aggregation in Auctions with an Unknown Number of Bidders", Games and Economic Behavior.

* Philip J. Reny and Motty Perry (2006), "Toward a Strategic Foundation for Rational Expectations Equilibrium", Econometrica.

Information acquisition

* Paul R. Milgrom (1981), "Rational Expectations, Information Acquisition, and Competitive Bidding", Econometrica.

* Matthew O. Jackson (2003), "Efficiency and information aggregation in auctions with costly information", Review of Economic Design.

* Dirk Bergemann, Xianwen Shi, and Juuso Valimaki (2009), "Information acquisition in interdependent value auctions", Journal of the European Economic Association.

Dirk Bergemann and Juuso Valimaki (2002), "Information acquisition and efficient mechanism design", Econometrica.

Hao Li (2001), "A Theory of Conservatism", JPE.

Nicola Persico (2000), "Information acquisition in auctions", Econometrica.

Olivier Compte and Philippe Jehiel (2007), "Auctions and information acquisition: sealed bid or dynamic formats?", RAND Journal of Economics.

Jeremy Bulow and Paul Klemperer (2009), "Why Do Sellers (Usually) Prefer Auctions?", AER, forthcoming.

Information disclosure (not covered in class)

Vlad Mares and Ronald M. Harstad (2003), "Private information revelation in common-value auctions", JET.

Peter Eso and Balazs Szentes (2007), "Optimal Information Disclosure in Auctions and the Handicap Auction", Review of Economic Studies.

Dirk Bergemann and Martin Pesendorfer (2007), "Information Structures in Optimal Auctions", JET.

Simon Board (2009), "Revealing information in auctions: the allocation effect", Economic Theory.

April 28 - Revenue maximization in ad auctions

Background reading 1: Benjamin Edelman and Michael Ostrovsky (2007), "Strategic Bidder Behavior in Sponsored Search Auctions", Decision Support Systems.

Background reading 2: Benjamin Edelman, Michael Ostrovsky, and Michael Schwarz (2007), "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords", AER.

Background reading 3: Hal R. Varian (2007), "Position Auctions", IJIO.

* Michael Ostrovsky and Michael Schwarz (2009), "Reserve Prices in Internet Advertising Auctions: A Field Experiment", working paper.

Renato Gomes and Kane Sweeney (2009), "Bayes-Nash Equilibria of the Generalized Second Price", working paper.

Sebastien Lahaie and David M. Pennock (2007), "Revenue Analysis of a Family of Ranking Rules for Keyword Auctions", ACM EC '07.

May 3
- School choice and matching market design
Guest lecture by Parag Pathak

* Pathak, Parag and Tayfun Sonmez (2011), "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation", NBER Working Paper 16783.

Background readings:

[1] Roth, Alvin and Uriel G. Rothblum.  "Truncation Strategies in Matching Markets: In Search of Advice for Participants." Econometrica, 63(1), pp. 21-43. January 1999.

[2] Kojima, Fuhito and Parag A. Pathak.  "Incentives and Stability in Two-Sided Matching Markets."  American Economic Review, 99(3): 608-627, June 2008.

[3] Pathak, Parag A. and Tayfun Sonmez.  "Leveling the Playing Field: Sincere and Sophisticated Players in the Boston Mechanism."  American Economic Review, 98(4), 1636-52, 2008.

[4] Chen, Yan and Onur Kesten.  "From Boston to Shanghai to Deferred Acceptance: Theory and Experiments on a Family of School Choice Mechanisms", University of Michigan Working paper.

[5] Day, Robert and Paul Milgrom, "Optimal Incentives in Core-Selecting Package Auction", forthcoming, Handbook of Market Design, Oxford University Press.

[6] Erdil, Aytek and Paul Klemperer.  "A New Payment Rule for Core-Selecting Package Auctions." Journal of the European Economic Association,  2010.

[7] David Parkes, et. al., "Payment Rules for Combinatorial Auctions via Structural Support Vector Machines."  Harvard University, Unpublished Working Paper, April 2011.

[8] Dasgupta, Partha and Eric Maskin.  "On the Robustness of Majority Rule."  Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 6, Issue 5, pages 949–973, September 2008

May 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24
Student presentations of recent research

May 26, 31
Research proposals - short presentations and discussions