Info 290

Markets and Information: Ethics, Theory and Applications

3 units

Course Description

This seminar explores markets as a social and information technology, examining how they are constructed and how they function in the digital economy. The course connects ongoing developments in markets and market design to longstanding lines of scholarship, engaging with both foundational and contemporary readings across fields such as information economics, social theory, science and technology studies, and information science.

Topics include examining the role of markets as information-processing technologies, as social and economic coordination, how markets are maintained and constructed, and concepts of fairness associated with markets and market allocation. The course ends with an examination of digital markets, blockchain technologies and ongoing concerns with digital antitrust and platform power.

Students will learn to critically examine and take a historical and theoretically informed view towards the role of markets. Students will be able to apply such framings to existing issues in digital markets, such as antitrust, control over market information, and price discrimination, across domains such as ad auctions, e-commerce and the gig economy.

This course is suitable for both graduate and undergraduate students interested in how markets are studied across different fields, and is designed to be accessible to students of all backgrounds.

Undergraduates: Interested undergraduates should email and cc to obtain a permission code to enroll in the class.

Last updated:

January 8, 2024