Sunday, September 25, 2016

Notes from China 2: Lanzhou

I spoke in Lanzhou on Thursday, in Gansu Province, as part of a festival promoting the revival of the Silk Road as a market for international trade. The sponsors were Time Weekly, Readers Group (a wide circulation, Readers Digest kind of publisher...www.duzhe.com), and the provincial government.

Here's an interview published in China Daily:

诺贝尔经济学奖得主埃尔文·罗斯:中国市场必须由中国经济学家设计
作者:孟肖 来源:时代周刊 2016-09-20
Google translate renders the headline this way: Nobel laureate Erwin Ross: Chinese market must be designed by a Chinese economist
Author: Meng Xiao Source: Times 2016-09-20 
Kwong Sunrise Photo--Al Roth 



The provincial museum is well worth a visit.


And the Yellow River has some beautiful bridges: I took these photos from a riverboat at night.



I recommend the Lanzhou beef noodles, which I had for lunch  The banquet food in Lanzhou is also easy for Americans--fish, lamb, beef and Yak were prominent. (Yak is a kosher animal, by the way...). And toasting goes on throughout, not just in wine but in 100 proof rice liquor...



And in case you were wondering how to spell Erwin Ross in Chinese, I think this is it:

Notes from China 1: Changsha

The first of two stops on my recent trip to China was in Changsha, in Hunan province.  I spoke about market design, following the publication of Who Gets What and Why in Chinese (the Chinese title was changed to The Sharing Economy, but the subtitle was still The New Economic of Matchmaking and Market Design).

Here's a picture I took of the stage, before the talk began:



Here are links to some press coverage, including a visit to ResGreen corporation, a sponsor:

Full coverage

诺奖得主埃尔文-罗斯长沙谈共享经济:核心在于稳定匹配

星辰在线 - ‎Sep 20, 2016‎
今日,诺贝尔经济学奖获得者埃尔文-罗斯(Alvin E. Roth)携最新的研究成果来到湖南长沙,走进了以绿之韵集团为代表的中国本土企业,与中国的商业巨鳄、学者专家共同探讨共享经济时代下的市场设计话题。

诺贝尔经济学奖得主埃尔文·罗斯:中国市场必须由中国经济学家设计

新浪网 - ‎Sep 19, 2016‎
罗斯(Alvin E. Roth),罗斯因在博弈论、市场设计和实验经济学领域作出的显著贡献,而于2012年获得诺贝尔经济学奖,目前罗斯在哈佛商学院担任经济及工商管理学教授,他多次访问中国,对目前中国经济的 ...

诺奖得主罗斯走进绿之韵谈共享经济:核心在于稳定匹配

湖南在线 - ‎Sep 21, 2016‎
埃尔文·罗斯(Alvin E。 Roth)考察湖南企业绿之韵公司. 罗斯此行携最新的研究成果,走进了以绿之韵集团为代表的中国本土企业,与中国的商业巨鳄、学者专家共同探讨共享经济时代下的市场设计话题。出席本 ...

诺贝尔经济学奖得主罗斯考察浏阳经开区企业

红网 - ‎Sep 20, 2016‎
红网综合讯据浏阳经开区消息9月20日上午,诺贝尔经济学奖获得者埃尔文•罗斯(Alvin E. Roth)一行来到浏阳经开区绿之韵集团考察。浏阳经开区党工委副书记、管委会主任郭力夫,绿之韵集团战略发展顾问、 ...

By the way, the food in Hunan is exotic, here's our lunch menu, which has some unusual items (translated for me by Ms Keny Chen):

Lunch Menu 午宴菜品
Cold Dishes|冷菜
Chrysanthemum with special sauce 凉拌苦菊
Vinegar walnut kernel 醋泡核桃仁
Preserved duck egg mixed with pepper 擂辣椒皮蛋
Sauced radish peels 萝卜皮
Salty chicken feet 盐焗凤爪
Fennel with special sauce 凉拌茴香
Soup|汤
海马人参乳鸽汤
Main Dishes|热菜
Lobster and salmon sashimi 龙虾三文鱼双拼刺身
Roast suckling pig 鸿运烤乳猪
Roasted goose 烧鹅
Braised local tortoise with soy sauce 红烧土乌龟
Stir-fry snake with spicy sauce 香辣蛇
Lactarius deliciosus braised in brown sauce 黄焖寒菌*
Steamed Leopard Coral Grouper 清蒸蓝东星斑
Steamed scallop with minced garlic and vermicelli 蒜蓉粉丝蒸扇贝
Sautéd razor shell 口味圣子王
Poached domestic chicken 清炖土鸡
Stir-fry snow pea and pleurotus nebrodensis (bailing mushroom) 荷兰豆炒白灵菇
Spiced beef 酱香肉
Steamed ribs with sticky rice and pumpkin 金瓜糯香骨
Stir-fry preserved taro stripe with dried paprika 干椒炒酸芋头丝
Stir-fry diced beef and capsicum 彩椒炒牛仔粒
Stir-fry shrimp with egg white 芙蓉百合
Stir-fry pickles with sliced conch 酸萝卜炒螺片
Stir-fry Chinese edible frog 爆炒田鸡
Stir-fry nostoc commune (agaric) 清炒地木耳
Stir-fry bitter melon with green pepper 清炒苦瓜
Stir-fry Chinese kale (Kai-lan) 清炒芥兰
Staples|主食
Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame 大麻果
Potsticker 锅饺

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Celebration of David Kreps

I was away and missed the academic festival to mark Dave Kreps' 65th birthday. But here's a nice account of it (after a non-sequitur first paragraph) by David Warsh at Economic Principals:
It Takes (an Invisible) College 

"A celebration last week of the sixty-fifth birthday of David Kreps, of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, marked the scholarly contributions of one of the leading figures in the integration of game theory into economics.  "

School choice in England


Friday, September 23, 2016

Resettlement as a matching problem: Bazzi, Gaduh, Rothenberg, and Wong on Population Resettlement in Indonesia

There's a lot of discussion of how best to resettle refugees internationally, and of course we might be able to learn a lot about that by looking at the resettlement of internally displaced people, and other migrants.  Here's a recent AER paper that looks at the matching component and finds that it matters who goes where.

Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia
By Samuel Bazzi, Arya Gaduh, Alexander D. Rothenberg, and Maisy Wong

Abstract: We use a natural experiment in Indonesia to provide causal evidence
on the role of location-specific human capital and skill transferability in shaping the spatial distribution of productivity. From 1979–1988, the Transmigration Program relocated two million migrants from rural Java and Bali to new rural settlements in the Outer Islands. Villages assigned migrants from regions with more similar agroclimatic endowments exhibit higher rice productivity and nighttime light intensity one to two decades later. We find some evidence of migrants’ adaptation to agroclimatic change. Overall, our results suggest that
regional productivity differences may overstate the potential gains
from migration.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reputation in online marketplaces

Two recent NBER papers tell us about trust, quality, and reputation in online marketplaces.

BUYING REPUTATION AS A SIGNAL OF QUALITY:
EVIDENCE FROM AN ONLINE MARKETPLACE
Lingfang (Ivy) Li, Steven Tadelis, Xiaolan Zhou
Working Paper 22584, http://www.nber.org/papers/w22584

ABSTRACT: Reputation is critical to foster trust in online marketplaces, yet leaving feedback is a public good that can be under-provided unless buyers are rewarded for it. Signaling theory implies that only high quality sellers would reward buyers for truthful feedback. We explore this scope for signaling using Taobao's "reward-for-feedback" mechanism and find that items with rewards
generate sales that are nearly 30% higher and are sold by higher quality sellers. The market design implication is that marketplaces can benefit from allowing sellers to use rewards to build reputations and signal their high quality in the process.
**********

Michael Luca
Working Paper 22616, http://www.nber.org/papers/w22616

ABSTRACT: Online marketplaces have proliferated over the past decade, creating new markets where none existed. By reducing transaction costs, online marketplaces facilitate transactions that otherwise would not have occurred and enable easier entry of small sellers. One central challenge faced by designers of online marketplaces is how to build enough trust to facilitate transactions between strangers. This paper provides an economist’s toolkit for designing online marketplaces, focusing on trust and reputation mechanisms.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Repugnance watch: Pokemon Go banned in Iran

Here's the BBC story, which also covers restrictions on the game elsewhere, for various reasons: Pokemon Go banned by Iranian authorities over 'security'

"The decision was taken by the High Council of Virtual Spaces, the official body overseeing online activity.
Iran follows a number of other countries in expressing its worries over security related to the game.
...
"Indonesia has banned police officers from playing the game while on duty, and a French player was arrested last month after straying on to a military base while trying to catch Pokemon.
A leading Saudi cleric said a fatwa (religious ruling) issued against an earlier Pokemon card game also applied to the new mixed-reality app.
The 16-year-old edict said the game contained "forbidden images" and violated an Islamic ban on gambling. But a fatwa's influence might not carry beyond that particular scholar's territory, and is not necessarily applicable to the whole country.
Earlier this week, authorities in New York state said they would ban some 3,000 registered sex offenders from playing Pokemon Go while they are on parole.
The ban is aimed at safeguarding the children who play the game."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stable matching for university admissions in Vietnam?

Here's a proposal (in Vietnamese) to use a deferred acceptance algorithm to organize university admissions in Vietnam:

Kỳ thi THPT Quốc Gia 2016
Về việc áp dụng thuật toán DAA của Gale-Shapley trong xét tuyển – Đối Thoại Giáo Dục

Google translate renders the headline this way:
"National high school exams in 2016
On application of the algorithm of Gale-Shapley DAA in admissions - Dialogue Education"

Monday, September 19, 2016

Who Gets What and Why, in China

I'll be travelling to China today, to speak in Changsha and Lanzhou, as a guest of the Times Media Group, to talk about the Chinese edition of my book Who Gets What and Why.

Here's a news story...
诺奖得主来华:共享经济时代如何优化资源配置?
Nobel Laureate in China: how to optimize the sharing of economic resources?

Google translate has trouble with my name in Chinese:  here are some variants they produce:
Erwin · E · Ross (Alvin E. Roth)
Elvin Ross