Newsletter August 2017

2017 has been a great year thus far for the Centre for Market Design (CMD).

Great people joining our growing team

In striving to deliver excellence across our three strategic imperatives, the CMD implemented a new operational structure in January. In my role as Centre Director I work alongside; Dr David Byrne in the new role of Director – Capability Building, Mr Gary Stoneham in the new role of Director – Policy and Professor Steven Williams, who was appointed in January to the role of Director of Research.

Steven joined us from the University of Illinois and is a microeconomic theorist, with particular interests in game theory, mechanism design and market design. He is currently engaged in a long-term collaboration with Mark Satterthwaite (Northwestern University) and Kostas Zachariadis (Queen Mary University, London) on the topic of double auctions with interdependent values.

In January, the CMD board farewelled Mark Johnstone and thanked him for his invaluable contribution. We have since been fortunate to work with our new Department of Treasury and Finance representative Mark Rodrigues.
Mark is Director of Economic Policy within the Department of Treasury and Finance and leads a team responsible for providing advice across a broad range of portfolios including: macroeconomic conditions and policy; energy, resources and environmental policy, and; regulation, planning and local government policy.
Within the University of Melbourne’s Department of Economics, the CMD assisted in the recruitment of a new empirical researcher; Associate Professor Marc Chan.
Marc’s research focuses on labour economics, public economics and applied econometrics and he has published solo-authored works in Econometrica and The Review of Economic Studies.

Our research is impacting international governments

The Centre is grounded in its mission to produce leading, innovative economic research which focuses on delivering value to the community.
David Byrne’s research on using big data to identify tacit, anti-competitive conduct has been a highlight for the Centre this year.
You can read about this study HERE in the University of Melbourne’s online news platform; Pursuit or across the mass media, which printed a staggering twenty seven print articles in outlets including THE AGE and syndicated eighteen radio interviews across stations including the BBC.

As a result of this study, the CMD has advanced to a point where it now has impact into international government decision making; David has given three invited seminars at competiton authorities worldwide; the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the U.S Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau.

We are Building Economic Capability with law and policy makers

In June, the CMD partnered with George Mason University’s Global Antitrust Institute in hosting the Judges Economic Program.
Thirty five key local and international Judges and anti-trust practitioners attended the course and four highly respected instructors taught the program; Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, J.D., Professor Bruce H. Kobayashi, Professor Joshua D. Wright and Professor Koren Wong-Ervin. Professor Leslie Marx and I also facilitated a productive closing session.
The course has got the Australian legal profession talking, you can read more about the questions it raises for anti-competitive law HERE

Our aim to better equip policymakers and government agencies with frontier tools in Economics and Econometrics has progressed further this year via our Specialist Certificate in Economic Design. Three successful cohorts ran in June and July across Commonwealth and State Government departments and government agencies. Since the course’s launch in 2016, we have taught almost 100 economists and policy analysts who work directly on market design issues affecting Australians every day.
Testimonials and more information about the Specialist Certificate in Economic Design can be found HERE
In 2018, we will run two different streams of the Specialist Certificate in Economic Design – one tailored for private enterprise and one designed for governments and government agencies, if you would like to register your interest for our 2018 courses you can email us

We are transforming Melbourne into a hub for Industrial Organization

The CMD is engaging with a growing list of companies, governments, media outlets and both local and international academics to strengthen the impact of its research.

We are thrilled that our goal of turning Melbourne into an international hub for industrial organization is becoming a reality. The second Melbourne International Organization and Theory day was held in April at the University of Melbourne and saw nine presentations  given from key industrial organization scholars from the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Business School, Monash Business School, Deakin University and Monash University.
After launching the Asia-Pacific Industrial Organisation Society and its inaugural conference in 2016, it is fantastic to be supporting the University of Auckland in running the second Asia-Pacific Industrial Organisation Conference this December. The conference will build on the success of last year, where we saw more than one hundred global IO economists come together to present and discuss research.
More information about this year’s APIO Conference is available HERE

Our networks are growing

The CMD has been fortunate to host many prominent international academics over the past six months including; Associate Professor Scott Kominers (Harvard Society of Fellows), Professor Michael Riordan (Columbia) and Professor Francis Bloch (University Paris 1).
Conversely, members of the CMD have also visited and spoken at international universities; David Delacretaz (CMD PhD student) has recently presented at the Toulouse School of Economics. A Pursuit piece was published in June showcasing some of David’s work in using matching mechanisms to efficiently allocate childcare places in Australia. You can read about it HERE

Dr Byrne was invited to moderate an energy debate between The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP (Minister for Environment and Energy) and The Hon. Mark Butler MP (Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy) at the Economic and Social Outlook Conference 2017. It was a fantastic session with both parties aligned on various policy issues but also discussing complicated areas of power generation including coal. Read about the debate HERE

New partners the CMD has recently engaged include the New South Wales Fair Trading and Transurban. South East Water is also one of our new partners, we are working together to evaluate the impact of digital technologies on water consumption.

We won!

The CMD’s engagement endeavours were formally acknowledged in May with David, Gary and myself being awarded the 2017 Melbourne Excellence in Engagement Award for Research.
The award acknowledged our consistent partnership with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance as well as the significant international and local impact of our research.

Simon Loertscher

Centre for Market Design