When are Markets and Economies Well-Behaved?

I will discuss two topics that are part of a longer-term effort to provide a dynamic and strategic account of the behavior of (some) economies.

The first, joint work with Yixin Tao, is to quantify the reduced opportunity for strategic manipulation as auctions and economies grow larger, as indicated by a Price of Anarchy that tends to 1. These results are based on smoothness arguments and consequently also apply when agents follow no-regret strategies.

The second concerns the dynamics of tatonnement when trade occurs in disequilibrium, as analyzed in the Ongoing Market model, introduced by Cole and Fleischer. Here the main issue is to identify settings in which one can show fast convergence when prices update independently and asynchronously. In particular, we focus on the connection to asynchronous coordinate descent. This is joint work with Yun Kuen Cheung and builds on earlier work with Nikhil Devanur and Cheung.

Finally, if time allows, I will briefly digress to mention recent work, joint with Ruta Mehta, on housing markets with soft budget constraints.

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