Smart Markets and Combinatorial Auctions

Professor: Raffensperger
Units: 0.5
Elective Course
Concentrations: Economic Analysis and Quantitative Methods

How do governments auction radio spectrum? What is the best way to match kidneys to patients? How could we create a market for land use impacts on flood costs? How do modern electricity markets work? Surprisingly, many of these exchanges have common elements, and can be operated in similar ways.

This course gives an overview of the exciting new field of 'smart' markets, while exploring some relationships between operations research and economics. Invented only in the past 50 years, businesses and governments now use smart markets to trade billions of dollars of goods and services, such as electricity, radio spectrum, and transportation services. The course surveys important examples of these markets, discusses problems that market designers face, and describes some open problems. At the end of the course, you'll understand how these markets work and the conditions in which they are most useful.