Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The object of study in this dissertation is the interaction among the design of
institutions, the behavior of economic agents, and information. By institutions
we mean the set of rules and procedures that govern the way individuals and
other economic agents behave within the economy or other social structures. Two
examples of institutions that are studied here are collective decision-making rules
and markets for goods with limited supply.
Any given institution creates speci¿c incentives for the participating agents
that form their behavior. Because of strategic interdependencies among economic
agents, it is not always clear how a particular institutional design may translate
in to agents¿ behavior. The aggregation of agents¿ behavior sometimes leads to
collective behavior that is not obvious ex ante. At a more elemental level,
prediction of behavior requires a good model of how individuals think, form
beliefs and act in strategic situations. This should not be assumed as given.
When these interactions take place in an uncertain world, information becomes
crucial. What information is available and it¿s value to agents depends on the
particular rules of social interaction. Agents on the other hand act on the basis of
available information and the shape it may have. But information has some special
properties that make it di¿erent than other goods in the economy. The attempt
to understand the role of these special properties in the problem of designing
institutions is what connects the di¿erent parts of this dissertation.
Date of Award6 Jul 2012
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJoan de Martí Beltran (Director) & Caterina Calsamiglia Costa (Tutor)

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