Thursday, 22 October 2015

Repugnant Markets and Forbidden Transactions

WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences by Alvin E. Roth

Why is it forbidden to sell and buy organs? Why is the exchange of kidneys that leads to many successful transplants allowed in some countries such as the US, but not in others like Germany? Which markets or transactions we allow, affects the choices that people have, and how they may pursue their goals. Kidney exchange would seem needlessly complex if we instead allowed kidneys to be bought and sold; but this is illegal everywhere except in the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are many other transactions that are repugnant or forbidden, and this differs between countries. The lecture will investigate the nature of and reasons for repugnance with its implications for the design of markets.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion by Stefan Gosepath who is Professor of Practical Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin.

Alvin E. Roth is the Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics at Stanford University. His work focuses on game theory, experimental economics and market design. He received the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

This event is part of the WZB Distinguished Lectures in Social Sciences.