Mechanism design

TagLast edit: 2 Jun 2021 11:56 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

Mechanism design is a field that applies economics and game theory to the design of incentive structures, or mechanisms. Mechanisms are often designed to achieve specific social objectives. Conventionally, mechanism design assumes that players have private information about their preferences and act rationally so as to maximize those preferences.

There are several types of mechanisms:

Mechanisms can be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Mechanism design has been used to improve social outcomes in domains such as medical residency matching (Wikipedia 2009), school choice (Abdulkadiroğlu & Sönmez 2003), organ donation (Roth, Sonmez & Unver 2004), and voting. Mechanisms have also been proposed to improve the provision of public goods (MikkW 2020).


Abdulkadiroğlu, Atila & Tayfun Sönmez (2003) School choice: A mechanism design approach, American Economic Review, vol. 93, pp. 729–747.

MikkW (2020) The case for promoting/​creating public goods markets as a cause area, Effective Altruism Forum, October 24.

Roth, A. E., T. Sonmez & M. U. Unver (2004) Kidney exchange, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 119, pp. 457–488.

Wikipedia (2009) National resident matching program, Wikipedia, April 6 (updated 9 May 2021‎).

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cooperation & coordination | economics | electoral reform | game theory | markets for altruism

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