Agora (αγορά) is Greek for market as well as meeting place. The AGORA center is the successor of the ESEI group that was based in Zurich between 2010 and 2015 but went "down under" in 2016. 


The focus at AGORA is to solve major open design problems and to gain an improved understanding of new mechanisms for auctions, contracts, matching, voting, trading, social learning and networking.

The aim is to advance our scientific knowledge and to provide practitioners with implementations that have been thoroughly tested in the laboratory. The combination of mechanism design and wind tunnel testing defines our approach to the design of better social, political, and economic institutions.

Market design offers a novel scientific approach to policymaking with the potential to transform the social sciences and public policy. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines insights from game theory, experimental economics, computer science, and operations research with domain-specific expertise from the environmental sciences, the financial sector, law, etc.


It follows an innovative reverse-engineering methodology that takes the goal rather than the institution as given. In other words, market design starts from a clearly specified objective and asks what institution can best implement it. Market design is transformative in that it breaks with the centuries-long tradition in the social sciences of studying existing institutions and instead proposes to engineer – that is to design, test, and build – new ones.



AGORA member Philippos Louis joins UNSW as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October 2016.

First AGORA mini-workshop in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 5, at UNSW:

1:30 - 2:15 Rakesh Vohra (U Penn)

2:15 - 3:00 Juan Carlos Carbajal (UNSW)

3:00 - 3:30 Tea break

3:30 - 4:15 Jun Zhang (UTS)

4:15 - 5:00 John Ledyard (Caltech)

Location: BUS Room 205

Drew Fudenberg (Harvard University) will offer two afternoon lectures on June 28 and 29:

Day 1: Learning and Equilibrium in Games.

Day 2: Cooperation in Experimental Repeated Games

Location: BUS Room 115. Time: 14:00-17:00 (Tue June 28 and Wed June 29).

Drew is the leading game theorist of his generation and has made enormously important contributions to

pure game theory, bargaining theory, industrial organization, and he pioneered the field of learning in

games. His lectures should appeal to a broad audience, as well those who are familiar with the area.

AGORA member Jacob Goeree is the first SHARP hire at the Business school of UNSW Australia. Jacob will start at UNSW per July 1, 2016.  Philippos Louis, another AGORA member, will join Jacob at UNSW in due course.

AGORA members Jacob Goeree and Thomas Palfrey publish "Quantal Response Equilibrium," together with Charles Holt (UVa), at Princeton University Press. 



Level 4, Central Wing

UNSW Australia Business School Building
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052

Nick Bedard