Essays in Microeconomics

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Essays in Microeconomics

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Title: Essays in Microeconomics
Author: Monteiro de Azevedo, Eduardo
Citation: Monteiro de Azevedo, Eduardo. 2012. Essays in Microeconomics. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays on microeconomics. The first essay considers matching markets, markets where buyers and sellers and concerned about who they interact with. It proposes a model to analyze these markets akin to the standard supply and demand framework. The second essay considers mechanism design, the problem of designing rules to make collective decisions in the presence of private information. It proposes the concept of strategyproofness in the large, which is that an agent without too fine information has negligible gains from misreporting her type in a large market. It argues that, for all practical purposes, this concept correctly separates mechanisms where behavior akin to price-taking is observed, and those where participants rampantly manipulate their stated preferences. A Theorem is proven that gives a precise sense in which strategyproofness in the large is not a very restrictive property. The third essay considers the evolutionary origins of the endowment effect bias, where the willingness to pay for a good is smaller than the willingness to accept. It gives evidence that this bias is not present in a modern hunter-gatherer population, questioning standard evolutionary accounts. It shows that cultural shocks in a subpopulation did give rise to the bias.
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