Anthony Lee Zhang is a 4th year PhD student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, advised by Lanier Benkard and Paul Milgrom. He completed his BA in economics at the University of Chicago in 2013, and worked at Facebook as a product analyst from 2013-2014. His primary research interests are in market design.

Research Summary

Anthony’s research spans two topics: redesigning property rights to improve the efficiency of resource allocation, and developing robust methods for empirically analyzing market performance.

A large body of work in economics has studied market-like mechanisms for assigning property rights for various scarce resources, such as wireless spectrum or internet domain names. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the design of the property rights that are assigned. But property rights can significantly impact the efficiency of resource allocation: for example, allowing costless ownership of domain names encourages inefficient “domain squatting”, inhibiting the reallocation of domain names to their highest-value users. Anthony’s research has developed a novel property right design, the depreciating license, which promotes efficient resource allocation by requiring users to periodically self-report valuations for their resources, and to sell to entrants with higher values.

In order to guide the design and analysis of real-world markets, the theoretical study of markets must be complemented with data-driven tools for diagnosing market performance. An important obstacle is that a large variety of markets and market-like mechanisms exist; deriving specific approaches for every market design observed in practice is prohibitively costly. Anthony’s research aims to develop simple statistics that can be calculated for any market-like mechanism, regardless of its design, which can be used to flexibly diagnose market performance.

For more information, please visit Anthony’s website.