Econ/CS C147/C177 provides an introduction to algorithmic questions in economic design. We will introduce normative (desirable) principles and find algorithmic solutions that respect those principles. From the perspective of social goals, we focus on efficiency, fairness, and equity. In terms of private goals, the focus is on revenue maximization. The course will cover voting, fair division, matching, pricing, auctions and market mechanisms; with applications to organ allocation, ecommerce, school choice, and centralized market clearing. There is an emphasis on the algorithmic questions (computational and communication complexity) that arise naturally in economic design.
The class is meant to be broadly accessible to students in economics and computer science, so there is no required prior coursework, and the class will be self-contained. But the content of the class is mathematical. It is based on definitions, theorems, and proofs. Students must be comfortable writing simple proofs on their own. I do not recommend that you take this class if you have doubts about this.
Here is a preliminary syllabus, which is meant to give an rough idea of the course content. It is the first time that I teach the class and I expect to adjust the course content by the time the course starts in the Spring. The grading scheme and homework regime will be as described in the syllabus.