Who Gets What — and Why (Hardcover)

The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design

By Alvin E. Roth

Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544291133, 272pp.

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback, Spanish (10/1/2017)
MP3 CD (6/7/2016)
Compact Disc (6/7/2016)
MP3 CD (6/2/2015)
Compact Disc (6/2/2015)

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A Nobel laureate reveals the often surprising rules that govern a vast array of activities — both mundane and life-changing — in which money may play little or no role.

If you’ve ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to college or guided your child into a good kindergarten, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you’ve participated in a kind of market. Most of the study of economics deals with commodity markets, where the price of a good connects sellers and buyers. But what about other kinds of “goods,” like a spot in the Yale freshman class or a position at Google? This is the territory of matching markets, where “sellers” and “buyers” must choose each other, and price isn’t the only factor determining who gets what.

Alvin E. Roth is one of the world’s leading experts on matching markets. He has even designed several of them, including the exchange that places medical students in residencies and the system that increases the number of kidney transplants by better matching donors to patients. In Who Gets What — And Why, Roth reveals the matching markets hidden around us and shows how to recognize a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.

About the Author

ALVIN ROTH, Ph.D., is the McCaw Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and is one of the world’s leading experts in the fields of market design and game theory. He was the co-recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Praise For Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design

“Mr. Roth’s work has been to discover the most efficient and equitable methods of matching and implement them in the world. He writes with verve and style…Who Gets What—and Why is a pleasure to read.”
Wall Street Journal
“In his fluent and accessible book, Mr Roth vividly describes the successes of market design.”
“In this fascinating, often surprising book, Alvin Roth guides us through the jungle of modern life, pointing to the many markets that are hidden in plain view all around us. He teaches us how markets work—and fail—and how we can build better ones.”
Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

“If you have a market you want to work better, Al Roth is your man.  His new book is fun and compelling—social science at its best.”
—N. Gregory Mankiw, Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics, Harvard University and author of Principles of Economics

“In a book filled with wit, charm, common sense and uncommon wisdom, Roth challenges traditional economics by emphasizing that markets can often be freer and work much better when they are governed by carefully chosen rules!”
—Paul Milgrom, the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University

“The co-recipient of the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences introduces what he calls the new economics of matchmaking and market design….Roth’s case studies illustrate how problems that obstruct successful matches can be identified economically and overcome….An exciting practical approach to economics that enables both individuals and institutions to achieve their goals without running afoul of the profit motive.”
—STARRED Kirkus Reviews

“Practical as well as theoretical. Understanding how matching markets operate can help readers navigate them more effectively. A solid match for readers in general economics and business collections.”
Library Journal