On April 18, COSSA launched a new series of Congressional briefings as part of its Why Social Science? campaign. The event, Why Social Science? Because Understanding Markets Can Save Lives, featured a discussion with renown economist and Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth of Stanford University. The briefing series aims to highlight the many ways social and behavioral science research positively impacts our everyday lives.
Dr. Roth’s talk, Markets and Marketplaces: Making Markets Work, showcased the various ways markets—commodity markets, matching markets, and those that fall in between—impact our daily lives, from the New York Stock Exchange to dating apps like Tinder and eHarmony to ride-sharing apps to Internet search results. Knowledge about markets can also be applied to complex societal challenges, such as kidney transplantation. Dr. Roth outlined how he was able to apply his theories in matching markets to develop a system of kidney exchanges in which incompatible patient-donor pairs find compatible kidneys for transplantation. His innovations have translated into thousands of lives and millions of dollars in health care costs saved, and earned him the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics.
Video from the briefing, as well as Dr. Roth’s slides, are available on the COSSA website. COSSA thanks Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson and her excellent staff for helping to facilitate the event, and SAGE Publishing for its generous financial support.