Archive for August 16th, 2012

Could market design have saved Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh?

August 16, 2012

This is not just about Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh but several other Indians who die because of unavailability of organs for transplant..

This blog is a big fan of works of Prof. Al Roth of Harvard University (his super blog here). He has been advocating designing markets for repugnant goods like kidney etc. His work falls under the category  “market design”

Is it time for application of Prof Roth’s works in India as well and have a formal market for the same (there is already an illegal market though)? I wrote an article on the same a while ago. What do others think?

Meanwhile, I am revisiting Prof Roth’s works as lot of water has flown in the river since the last article..

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How Do Consumers Make Choices?

August 16, 2012

A nice survey by Zakaria Babutsidze of United Nations University.

In this paper I review the evidence from marketing and psychology literature about the purchase behavior of consumers. I concentrate on the characteristics of the choice process, choice of the external information source and nature of the  information obtained from these sources. The impact of important systematic differences among consumers and products on choice behavior is also discussed.

Summary is consumers are different (irrational) and complex. They use heuristics and decisions differ across products. On durables, they spend more time gathering information and so on:

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India: Large and Small?

August 16, 2012

A nice lecture by Amartya Sen. Sort of an abridged version of his book- The Argumentative Indian. Just discovered it on planning commission website.

He even discusses the Indian economic policy:

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Economics of Spam

August 16, 2012

A nice paper by Justin M. Rao and David H. Reiley in the recent edition of Journal of Econ Perspectives.

They look at this whole business of spamming. Interestingly, they say it is nothing but negative externality like pollution, traffic congestion:

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