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Evolution of Social Behaviors and Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is the idea that even as humans moved from more treacherous surroundings to civilization, they interact in ways that make certain characteristics and behave more likely to survive than others. Cornell professor Robert Frank wrote about the economics that arise out of such interactions in his book “The Darwin Economy.” If we choose […]

TrueSkill Ranking System for Matching in Games

Most multiplayer games today have some type of organization where players can come together to meet and play. This is true of all games from sports (NFL), to video games (MLG), to board games (FIDE). One of the most important roles that these organizations play is matching players with each other. The ideal matching usually […]

Can Prosper be as Prosperous as Banks?

         Credit Markets are a clear case of information asymmetry between borrowers and sellers. Felix Salmon writes that peer-to-peer lending was meant to create a personal connection between borrower and lender, giving borrowers a greater incentive to repay their debts than to “hated, faceless banks”. Did peer-to-lending cause that warm, “fuzzy” feeling […]

Braess’ Paradox in Epidemiology

Braess’ Paradox is a classic example (though not an actual paradox) showing how difficult it might be to design mechanisms within an environment selfish routing. In essence, we consider a source and a destination connected by two distinct paths. Here is a cost function describing how long it will take to navigate through an edge; […]