Newsletter March 2018


Welcome to the Centre for Market Design Newsletter.
We are moving into an exciting new phase and have news and innovation to share with you.

Over the next 18 months the Centre will launch new education and engagement programs, all designed to enrich the Australian microeconomic policy agenda.

The Economic Residency and Fellowship programs are two of the new initiatives we will run in partnership with Australian Government departments and agencies. The programs will deliver exceptional learning experiences and build economic capability with government lead, market design challenges in mind.

The Centre will commence market testing of our new modular microeconomic short courses. These courses have been based upon our successful Specialist Certificate in Economic Design and are tailored for economists working in private enterprise.
If you would like to register your interest for any of our courses you can email us

Great people joining our growing team

We are employing a broader set of expertise to resource this phase of growth for the Centre.
In 2018, our board will welcome new members from our growing partnership base, which is becoming increasingly diverse with strong government, agency and enterprise relationships.
We would like to thank Professor Utku Unver, Professor Stephen Hanly and Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark for their valued contributions to the board and wish them well.
An immeasurable thank you is also due to Professor Peter Bardsley.
Peter has retired from the board this year and we are all thankful and mindful of Peter’s efforts in conceptualising the Centre for Market Design and directing its path with great passion from 2012 until 2016. We wish Peter the very best.

Late last year the Centre farewelled Anna Steer. Anna was an excellent Business Manager and implemented much positive change. We wish Anna well in her new role at the centre of the University.
In January, the CMD was fortunate to welcome our new Business Manager – Rachel Derham.
Rachel joins us from her substantive role as Business Manager for the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne. Rachel brings exceptional strategic operational skills to the Centre and will be a great support to the Directors.

In February, we happily welcomed Kate Finn to our professional team as our new Administration and Events Officer. Kate has a strong event management background and brings with her a wealth of work experience from leading educational institutions including the University of New South Wales and the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Kate is replacing Rachel Farrell, who relocated with her family to Queensland in 2017.
Our professional team will grow this year, with the creation of the Government Relations Manager role to support our growing Policy unit and the new projects they are undertaking.

From a research perspective, our team has assisted recruiting high quality international talent to join the University of Melbourne’s Economics Department. In 2017 the department welcomed Dr. Aaron Barkley, Dr. Maria Recalde and Dr Siqi Pan.
Aaron is an applied microeconomics researcher specializing in structural econometrics, industrial organization, and public economics.
Maria is an experimental economist interested in behavioural economics, public economics, and development. Maria is co-organizing the Experimental Economics Seminar Series at the University of Melbourne with Dr. Siqi Pan. Siqi’s research interests include market design, experimental and behavioural economics, game theory, and industrial organisation.

We are thrilled to congratulate David Byrne our Director of Building Capability on his promotion to Associate Professor within the Department of Economics here at the University of Melbourne.

Our research impact continues to grow

In 2017 we had multiple research projects that engaged both local and international governments and resulted in Associate Professor Byrne giving three invited seminars at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the U.S Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau.
David’s research into how big data can identify anti-competitive conduct continues to generate much media interest. Last month he gave another talkback interview which you can hear in full here

Mr Gary Stoneham, our Policy Director has completed work in collaboration with Professor Charles Plott from the California Institute of Technology in designing a market mechanism to improve disabled students’ travel services. We will soon commence work with the Department of Education and Training to run a field pilot of the Smart Market mechanism.

We are embarking on new projects with new partners including NSW environmental agencies and progressing projects with Transurban, South East Water, and Court Services Victoria.

In December of last year, the CMD hosted its inaugural Regional Markets Conference.
The conference was a key component of a broader three-year research project aimed at improving economic outcomes for regional Australians.
We are grateful to have the support of the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Samuel and June Hordern endowment. This generous support continues to allow the Centre bring together a diverse selection of regional stakeholders including the ACCC, Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, the Grattan Institute and the Productivity Commission.
To view photos of the event, click HERE
The next Regional Markets Conference is scheduled for quarter one 2019 and you are welcome to register your interest here


The Centre for Market Design team is building upon the successes of the past six years to set the stage for this next, innovative phase. We thank you for your interest in our progress.

Warmest Regards,

Simon Loertscher
Centre for Market Design