A comprehensive overview of networks and economic design, presenting models and results drawn from economics, operations research, and computer science; with examples and exercises.
This book explores networks and economic design, focusing on the role played by allocation rules (revenue and cost-sharing schemes) in creating and sustaining efficient network solutions. It takes a normative approach, seeking economically efficient network solutions sustained by distributional fairness, and considers how different ways of allocating liability affect incentives for network usage and development. The text presents an up-to-date overview of models and results currently scattered over several strands of literature, drawing on economics, operations research, and computer science.
The book's analysis of allocation problems includes such classic models from combinatorial optimization as the minimum cost spanning tree and the traveling salesman problem. It examines the planner's ability to design mechanisms that will implement efficient network structures, both in large decentralized networks and when there is user-agent information asymmetry. Offering systematic theoretical analyses of various compelling allocation rules in cases of fixed network structures as well as discussions of network design problems, the book covers such topics as tree-structured distribution systems, routing games, organizational hierarchies, the “price of anarchy,” mechanism design, and efficient implementation. Appropriate as a reference for practitioners in network regulation and the network industry or as a text for graduate students, the book offers numerous illustrative examples and end-of-chapter exercises that highlight the concepts and methods presented.