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MECHANISM DESIGN

Governance and institutional design play an important role in economic analysis, evidence of which is the recent award of the Nobel Prize to Hurwicz, Maskin and Myerson.

Members of MOVE aim to contribute to this broad area of research by the study and design of institutions (mechanisms) with the objective of helping societies to take collective decisions.

The focus of the research is to analyze mechanisms, existing or theoretically motivated, that will lead agents to behave efficiently. The emphasis is placed not only on the normative properties of the mechanisms (for instance, efficiency and equity) but also on the strategic incentives they induce on agents.

The mechanisms which are studied include auctions, voting procedures, matching mechanisms, rationing rules, negotiation schemes, and any market or arbitrage situation. On the theoretical side, emphasis is placed on informational issues, network structures under which agents are organized, and notions of rationality (in light of the new behavioral theories). On the applied side, the focus is placed on real-life mechanisms used by public authorities such as schools, universities or hospitals to assign students or interns. Methodologically, experiments and simulations are also incorporated as methods to test and to further suggest new implications of the models.

Topics addressed cover a wide range of fields, which are being broadened to include new issues previously unexplored by the group, such as decisions concerning science and innovation, and aspects of international bargaining. In all cases the group remains committed to issues of efficiency and justice in order to guide institutional design.

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