Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays in market design
by Lopez Carbajal, Hector A., Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2016, 138; 10159090
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation, I study three problems in market design: the allocation of resources to schools using deferred acceptance algorithms, the demand reduction of employees on centralized labor markets, and the alleviation of traffic congestion. I show how institutional and behavioral considerations specific to each problem can alleviate several practical limitations faced by current solutions. For the case of traffic congestion, I show experimentally that the proposed solution is effective. In Chapter 1, I investigate how school districts could assign resources to schools when it is desirable to provide stable assignments. An assignment is stable if there is no student currently assigned to a school that would prefer to be assigned to a different school that would admit him if it had the resources. Current assignment algorithms assume resources are fixed. I show how simple modifications to these algorithms produce stable allocations of resources and students to schools. In Chapter 2, I show how the negotiation of salaries within centralized labor markets using deferred acceptance algorithms eliminates the incentives of the hiring firms to strategically reduce their demand. It is well-known that it is impossible to eliminate these incentives for the hiring firms in markets without negotiation of salaries.

Chapter 3 investigates how to achieve an efficient distribution of traffic congestion on a road network. Traffic congestion is the product of an externality: drivers do not consider the cost they impose on other drivers by entering a road. In theory, Pigouvian prices would solve the problem. In practice, however, these prices face two important limitations: i) the information required to calculate these prices is unavailable to policy makers and ii) these prices would effectively be new taxes that would transfer resources from the public to the government. I show how to construct congestion prices that retrieve the required information from the drivers and do not transfer resources to the government. I circumvent the limitations of Pigouvian prices by assuming that individuals make some mistakes when selecting routes and have a tendency towards truth-telling. Both assumptions are very robust observations in experimental economics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cramton, Peter
Commitee: Lee, Soohyung, Ozbay, Erkut, Vincent, Daniel, Windle, Robert
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economic theory
Keywords: Market design
Publication Number: 10159090
ISBN: 9781369140828
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