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Archive for February, 2015

Last fall I posted an announcement about the Reverse AGT Workshop series and its first event on the topic of Optimal Taxation. Three economists, Benjamin Lockwood (Harvard Business School), Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard Economics), and Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research), spoke about their work on optimal taxation in presentations targeted to an AGT audience. Each talk was thirty minutes and followed by fifteen minutes of discussion. It was fantastic! Since the workshop a reading group organized to dig deeper into key papers in the optimal taxation literature. For example, the reading group spend three weeks on an excellent survey by Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, Optimal Labor Income Taxation from the Handbook of Public Economics.

Next week the second Reverse AGT workshop on the topic of competition in selection markets will be held at Harvard U. This workshop series is now cosponsored by Harvard’s Center for Research on Computation and Society and Microsoft Research. The event will be videotaped and talks will be made available on the series website. A summary is below with full details on the workshop website.

Reverse AGT Workshop on Competition in Selection Markets
http://crcs.seas.harvard.edu/reverse-agt-workshops
Maxwell Dworkin 119, Harvard U.
2-5pm, Friday, February 27, 2015.

Summary:
In many markets, especially for insurance and financial products, the value of a sale depends on the identity of the customer, as this determines the chance of their, e.g., getting sick or defaulting on a loan. Competition between firms (e.g., insurance companies, banks) for customers may lead to inefficiencies, even complete market collapse, in such markets as firms are not sensitive to the costs their actions have on other firms. For example, a firm may design products to selectively attract (“cream-skim”) the safe customers, which worsens the pool of remaining customers. This can cause the market to unravel.

Economists have taken two contrasting, but complementary, approaches to studying these issues. The first, dominant from the 1970’s through the mid-2000’s, assumed customers differed only along a single dimension like health risk and studied equilibrium when firms perfectly compete and offer arbitrarily complicated mechanisms. Nathan Hendren will present some classic results from this “game theoretic” approach. In the last decade, economists have been interested in a “price theoretic” approach where firms use very simple strategies, like offering a single, standard insurance contract, but where they compete in a more realistic environment where they have market power or when customers differ along multiple dimensions such as their income as well as their health. Glen Weyl will present this approach. Eduardo Azevedo will present his joint work with Daniel Gottlieb, which tries to bridge these approaches with a new perfectly competitive solution concept that exists generally, applies in settings with multiple dimensions of consumer heterogeneity but allows for a rich range of contracts to be traded.

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AGT@IJCAI Workshop

[The following workshop announcement comes to us by way of Carmine Ventre.]

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AGT@IJCAI 2015 Preliminary Call for Papers
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1st Workshop on Algorithmic Game Theory at IJCAI
Buenos Aires, Argentina
July 24-31, 2015
http://www.intelligence.tuc.gr/agt2015

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Deadlines:

April 27, 2015 – Submission of contributions to workshops;
May 20, 2015 – Workshop paper acceptance notification;
May 30, 2015 – Deadline for final camera ready copy to workshop organizers.

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Scope:

Over the past fifteen years, research in theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, and microeconomics has joined forces to tackle problems involving incentives and computation. This research field, commonly named Algorithmic Game Theory, is becoming increasingly more relevant.

The main aim of this one-day long workshop is to bring together the rich variety of scientists that IJCAI attracts in order to have a multidisciplinary forum within which discuss and analyze current and novel challenges that the research in Algorithmic Game Theory faces.

Submission:

All paper submissions will be peer-reviewed and evaluated on the basis of the quality of their contribution, originality, soundness, and significance. Industrial applications and position papers presenting novel ideas, issues, challenges and directions are also welcome. Submissions are invited in, but not limited to, the following topics:

– Algorithmic mechanism design
– Auction algorithms and analysis
– Behavioral Game Theory
– Bounded rationality
– Computational advertising
– Computational aspects of equilibria
– Computational social choice
– Convergence and learning in games
– Coalitions, coordination and collective action
– Economic aspects of security and privacy
– Economic aspects of distributed and network computing
– Information and attention economics
– Network games
– Price differentiation and price dynamics
– Social networks

Papers are to be submitted electronically on easychair. Submission link and submission format will be available on the workshop website in due course.

Publication:

To widen participation and encourage discussion, there will be no formal publication of workshop proceedings. Therefore, submissions of preliminary work and papers to be submitted or in preparation for submission to other major venues in the field are encouraged.

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Program Committee:

Ioannis Caragiannis (University of Patras)
Constantinos Daskalakis (MIT)
Edith Elkind (University of Oxford)
Diodato Ferraioli (Università di Salerno)
Martin Gairing (University of Liverpool)
Enrico H. Gerding (University of Southampton)
Vasilis Gkatzelis (Stanford)
Umberto Grandi (IRIT)
Gianluigi Greco (Università della Calabria)
Nicole Immorlica (Microsoft Research)
Jerome Lang (Université Paris-Dauphine)
Kate Larson (University of Waterloo)
Katrina Ligett (California Institute of Technology)
Emiliano Lorini (IRIT)
Brendan Lucier (MSR New England)
Vangelis Markakis (Athens University of Economics and Business)
Noam Nisan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
David Parkes (Harvard University)
Maria Polukarov (University of Southampton)
Valentin Robu (Heriot-Watt University)
Francesca Rossi (Università di Padova)
Eva Tardos (Cornell)
Orestis Telelis (University of Piraeus)
Vijay V. Vazirani (Georgia Tech)
Angelina Vidali (UPMC Sorbonne Universities)
Toby Walsh (NICTA and and UNSW)

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Organizing Committee:

Georgios Chalkiadakis (Technical University of Crete)
Nicola Gatti  (Politecnico di Milano)
Reshef Meir (Harvard University)
Carmine Ventre (Teesside University)

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