Market Design

Course content


The course is about design of markets, not only in the sense of auctions and matching markets, but also in the broader sense of designing allocation rules in general. We aim to understand why some markets need to be designed, what important design elements are, and how to assess market performance in terms of efficiency, stability and fairness of the market outcome. This is particularly relevant for the modern digital economy where market design is often hard programed into smart contracts and market participants may be computational agents.


MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Learning outcome


The students will learn how markets work and how they can be fixed if they do not perform well. This requires knowledge of all the specific elements of market design, and how they influence user behavior, and in the end, market outcome.

Students are expected to know the basic concepts, models and results from the theoretical and the applied literature on 
- Market design; auction design, matching models.
- General economic design; allocation rules, mechanism design.

Students should be able to understand and analyze 

- market situations and the effect of various design elements on the market outcome. This includes being able to model users’ strategic behavior and understand the role of information in market design.

- examples of market design in practice and to assess the performance of these markets in terms of efficiency, stability and fairness of the market outcome.

Students will be able to:

●                 Understand the functions of a market

●                 Understand why markets sometimes need to be designed

●                 Understand which elements are important in market design

●                 Model strategic behavior of market participants

●                 Understand the role of information in market design

●                 Formulate and analyze allocation rules

Regular lectures and supervision of written essay


Examples of main texts are:

Guillaume Haeringer, Market Design: auctions and matching, MIT Press, 2018.
Jens Leth Hougaard, Allocation in networks, MIT Press, 2018.

The precise litteraure will be announced on Absalon.

Competences in microeconomics and in game theory. These can be acquired by following e.g. LOJB10259U Mikroøkonomi and NIFB14002U Anvendt spilteori

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
The written essay will form the basis of the oral examination. No preparation time.
Exam registration requirements

Students are required to write an essay (max 10 pages, or 15 pages if 2 students collaborate) on a relevant topic chosen in collaboration with the course instructor. The essay has to be approved before the exam.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Two internal examiners

Same as for the ordinary exam.

The oral examination last 20 minutes, and all aids are allowed. No time for preparation.

If the student has not handed in the essay before the ordinary exam, the essay has to be handed in three weeks prior to the reexam. It must be approved before the exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

The grade will reflect  the student's performance during the oral examination.

The participants will get the grade "12" if they have fully achieved the intended learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 64
  • Project work
  • 105
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
No limit.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period.
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Jens Leth Hougaard   (3-7a7c78507976827f3e7b853e747b)
Saved on the 28-02-2023

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