British Library digitised image from page 70 of “Woodland Romances; or, Fables and Fancies”

Symmetry as fairness in market design

This is an update on my earlier post discussing first ideas of my PhD on competition law for digital market places and platforms.

A few years ago, Al Roth sent me a chapter on experiments in market design that he wrote for a book. I would like to carry out the design of the experimental study by Hong & Plott that Al mentions in real life (e.g. via a new energy services/product) and with the focus on possible asymmetry of information, influence & power.

Symmetry is my way of interpreting fairness.

To do this, I want to monitor/manage the design of a new digital marketplace, and/or make adjustments to the market design of an existing marketplace. In the nearby future I would like to give advice to the European Commission on policy/market design based on such experiments.

In the long term, I also want to investigate whether algorithms can positively influence markets with regard to a fair market design. (I find the work of Yingqian Zhang very inspiring, which is why I asked her as co-promoter).

I was also inspired by my cousin Bas’ book: Why cola is more expensive than milk. There is an example of what data could do for a market if you know that an object (a sweater in Bas’s example) is no longer used, this is information that can be returned to the supplier/market. If the sweater stays in the closet for (too) long, it can theoretically go back on the market automatically.

Hope to share something like a systematic literature review at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022. If you have questions, let me know in the comments.

Life is beautiful. Personally I think moderation is key. Also with Twitter. I hardly ever read my dms. he/him — @seldondigital @jadatascience @vaartsoftware