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Algorithmic market design as provocation for STS studies of the market 
Edward Nik-Khah (Roanoke College)
Gabriel Chouhy
José Ossandón (Copenhagen Business School)
Trine Pallesen (Copenhagen Business School)
Christian Frankel (CBS)
Daniel Breslau (Virginia Tech)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel calls STS work inspecting algorithmic market design. We welcome papers (1) covering the history of algorithmic market design; (2) covering the work of market-designers; and (3) reflecting on how algorithmic market design pushes STS to new and problematic collaborative practices.

Long Abstract:

While the bidding mechanisms for advertisement slots at Facebook and Google come most readily to mind, algorithmic market design orchestrates far more aspects of online platforms. Wherever platform companies deploy matching mechanisms (viz., Airbnb, Uber and eBay), we can find the work of market designers. As work in the social studies of finance have shown, trading in contemporary finance is usually mediated by engineered algorithmic market encounters as well. Similarly, large infrastructures for public goods (e.g., electricity, water, emission certificates) are managed by engineered markets mechanisms. Finally, algorithmic market design is becoming increasingly relevant for the reorganization of marketized areas of policy making (e.g., school matching). This panel takes as its starting point that (1) algorithmic market design is an essential component of critical infrastructures for the digital economy, (2) it consolidates a new expertise in engineering and repairing markets, (3) this expertise represents a basic transformation in how professional economists and computer scientists understand themselves vis-à-vis the market, and (4) that algorithmic market design provokes and challenges how STS have usually understood their own conceptualization and practices vis-à-vis economics knowledge. We welcome contributions addressing the following topics:

· Historical papers covering developments – such as mechanism design, matching markets, the design of auction experiments – that might contribute to our understanding of the history of algorithmic market design;

· Work covering the work of market-designers in different economic areas and countries across the globe, for example, studies of designers of platforms, financial exchanges, energy markets, school-choice mechanisms, and kidney exchange;

· Papers that inspect and reflect on how algorithmic market design provokes consolidated understandings of the market in STS (e.g., performativity approach) and how it might trigger new problematic forms of collaborative practice.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2