Sixth Marketplace Innovation Workshop (MIW)

Columbia University, New York, NY

June 2-3, 2020



Itai Ashlagi, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Omar Besbes, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
Ilan Lobel, Stern School of Business, New York University
Gabriel Weintraub, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University


Markets are an ancient institution for matching the supply for a good or service with its demand. Physical markets were typically slow to evolve, with simple institutions governing trade, and trading partners generally facing a daunting challenge in finding the “right” partner. The information technology revolution, however, has generated a sea of change in how markets function: now, markets are typically complex platforms, with a range of mechanisms involved in facilitating matches among participants. Recent trends point to an unprecedented level of control over the design, implementation, and operation of markets: more than ever before, we are able to engineer the platforms governing transactions among market participants. As a consequence, market operators or platforms can control a host of variables such as pricing, liquidity, visibility, information revelation, terms of trade, and transaction fees. On its part, given these variables, market participants often face complex problems when optimizing their own decisions. In the supply side such decisions may include the assortment of products to offer and their price structure, while in the demand side they may include how much to bid for different goods and what feedback to offer about past purchasing experiences. The decisions made by the platform and the market participants interact, sometimes in intricate and subtle ways, to determine market outcomes.

In this workshop we seek work that improves our understanding of these markets, both from the perspective of the market operator and the market participants. With respect to the former we are particularly interested in work that derives useful insights on how to design these markets, taking into account their operational details and engineering and technological constraints. With respect to the market participants, we seek for work that introduces novel approaches to optimize their decisions and improves our understanding of their interactions within the market. We look for a mix of approaches including modeling, theoretical, and empirical, using a wide range of tools drawn from operations management, game theory, auctions and mechanism design, optimization, stochastic modeling, revenue management, econometrics, or statistics.

The list of markets to be studied includes but it is not restricted to:

  • Online marketplaces, such as eBay, Etsy, etc.
  • Internet advertising, including sponsored search and display ad exchanges
  • Sharing economy markets, such as Uber/Lyft, AirBnb, etc.
  • Online labor markets, such as Amazon mTurk, Upwork, etc.
  • Procurement markets, such as technology-enabled government procurement
  • Health care exchanges
  • Financial exchanges

The workshop will begin on the morning of June 2nd and continue through the afternoon of June 3rd.

Plenary speakers

The workshop will have several invited distinguished plenary speakers from academia and industry, including:

  • Clara Fain (Via)
  • Jun Li (University of Michigan)
  • Vahideh Manshadi (Yale University)
  • Tim Roughgarden (Columbia University)
  • Daniela Saban (Stanford University)
  • Amin Saberi (Stanford University)
  • Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research)


Submissions are now open here. Submissions should consist of 1-page extended abstracts. The submission deadline is February 28, 2020.


Registration is not open yet.

Past workshops

Programs of past years of the workshop can be found here: