2012 Nobel Laureates in economics

Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley!

Great picks.  Both have done work on matching theory, bargaining theory, allocation theory, and market design. Here is Roth’s blog, he often reads MR by the way and sometimes sends us links.  I now need to repack and travel, my apologies, but Alex is likely to have more to say.  Alex in particular has many excellent past posts on Roth.  Here is an excellent overview of the contributions of Shapley.  Here is Wikipedia on Shapley.  Here is a Forbes profile of Roth.  Here is the Swedish information.

I think of this as a prize about how theory can be turned into usable results, how trade and matching can be made more efficient in concrete ways, how trade is a coordination game, and the intimate connection between issues of trade and issues of distribution.

Richly deserved by both men.


All of this is well and good but how do you determine tiebreak in a chess tournament when matching players who have won the same number of games thus far? More here: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/rec.games.chess.misc/Wm-uocXv5NA (ignore the flames).

Do our Nobelians 'deferred choice' have anything to say on this chess theme? No because 'deferred choice' requires two parties to prioritize their preferences, and has a definition of stable that is somewhat relaxed: no two parties end up with each other when they rather both be with somebody else. But it presumes that humans can keep such sophisticated scorekeeping... is it realistic to say a spurned lover will choose their second or third choice? Or just pine away? But if it allows more kidney swaps, then it's worth it.

The algorithm doesn't presume to actually apply to marriage; the only reason it is called the "stable marriage problem" is because marriage is a nice stylized way of describing the abstract mathematical object the algorithm is actually looking at. It's a pedagogical tool.

I read this at XKCD last night. On finding your soul mate. It's a fun read, as are most of his "What Ifs..."


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