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Teaching Old Markets New Tricks

Once one starts thinking about the far-reaching benefits of economic growth, the Nobel laureate economist Robert Lucas once observed, "it's hard to think about anything else." The same could be said of "market design," a form of applied economics that promises to improve outcomes in almost every domain one can imagine. 

HANGZHOU – One of the most contentious political debates nowadays can be summarized as a classic left-right dispute. The left believes that markets are not delivering the results people need, and therefore government should step in. The right points out that markets have enabled the massive increase in living standards that we enjoy today, and thus should be left alone.