Book Summary: Who Gets What – and Why by Alvin Roth

Who Gets What – and Why by Alvin Roth Book Cover

Alvin Roth is an American economist and professor of economics at Stanford University. He is known for his work in the field of market design, which is the process of designing and analyzing markets. In his book “Who Gets What – and Why,” Roth explores the concept of market design and how it can be applied to various industries, including healthcare, education, and the labor market.

Chapter 1: The Power of Market Design

In the first chapter of his book, Roth introduces the concept of market design and how it can be used to create fair and efficient markets. He explains that market design is not just about creating new markets, but also about redesigning existing ones to make them more effective. Roth also discusses the importance of understanding the incentives of the parties involved in a market, as well as the role of information in market design.

Chapter 2: The Kidney Market

In the second chapter, Roth delves into the kidney market, which is one of the most well-known examples of market design. He explains how the market works, including how donors and recipients are matched, and how the market has evolved over time. Roth also discusses the challenges of the kidney market, including the shortage of donors and the high cost of transplantation.

Chapter 3: The School Choice Market

In the third chapter, Roth examines the school choice market, which is another example of market design. He explains how the market works, including how parents choose schools for their children and how schools compete for students. Roth also discusses the challenges of the school choice market, including the role of race and income in school choice.

Chapter 4: The Labor Market

In the fourth chapter, Roth turns his attention to the labor market, which is one of the most important markets in the economy. He explains how the market works, including how employers and employees are matched, and how wages are determined. Roth also discusses the challenges of the labor market, including the role of education and training, and the impact of technology on the labor market.

Chapter 5: The Resident Matching Market

In the fifth chapter, Roth explores the resident matching market, which is a market that matches medical residents with hospitals. He explains how the market works, including how residents and hospitals are matched, and how the market has evolved over time. Roth also discusses the challenges of the resident matching market, including the impact of technology on the market.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, “Who Gets What – and Why” by Alvin Roth is a thought-provoking book that explores the concept of market design and how it can be applied to various industries. Throughout the book, Roth provides insights into the challenges of different markets, including the kidney market, the school choice market, the labor market, and the resident matching market. Overall, “Who Gets What – and Why” is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how markets work and how they can be designed to be more effective.

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