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Workshop on Privacy and Economics

May 3-4, 2013 at Caltech

Workshop Description

Sensitive information is held by an enormous variety of entities, particularly in today's online world. How should this information be valued, elicited, bought, and sold? What are the incentives of the various entities involved in computing and transacting on private data? What are the challenges in incorporating privacy considerations into standard utility functions? 

The goal of this workshop is to nurture a dialogue between data privacy researchers and economists. To encourage this, we will adopt a workshop format perhaps foreign to the computer scientists but familiar to the economists---each of about half a dozen plenary talks will be paired with a prepared response from a leader from the other research area. We hope that this format will help to translate, identify, and interpret important concepts, results, and questions of common interest.

We will also have a session consisting of brief contributed talks. This is an opportunity to highlight a result, discuss work in progress, or suggest an open problem.

Speakers and Discussants

  • Dirk Bergemann, Douglass and Marion Campbell Professor of Economics, Yale University
  • Federico Echenique, Professor of Economics, Caltech
  • Ronen Gradwohl, Assistant Professor MEDS, Kellogg School of Mangement, Northwestern University
  • Katrina Ligett, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Economics, Caltech
  • Ilya Mironov, Researcher, Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley Campus
  • Denis Nekipelov, Assistant Professor Department of Economics, University of California – Berkeley
  • Kobbi Nissim, Professor of Computer Science, Ben Gurion University, and visiting scholar at Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society
  • Mallesh Pai, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sofya Raskhodnikova, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
  • Omer Reingold, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Silicon Valley
  • Aaron Roth, Raj and Neera Singh Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ilya Segal, Roy and Betty Anderson Professor in the Humanities and Sciences (Economics), Stanford University
  • Adam Smith, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, Pennsylvania State University
  • Rakesh Vohra, John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences, Director of the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics & Management, Kellogg School of Management

Workshop Location

The workshop will be located in room 105 of the Annenberg Building at Caltech.

Important Dates

  • Workshop Registration Deadline: April 19, 2013
  • Hotel Reservation Deadline: April 9, 2013
  • Workshop: May 3-4, 2013


  • Federico Echenique, Professor of Economics, Caltech
  • Katrina Ligett, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Economics, Caltech
  • Leeat Yariv, Professor of Economics, Caltech

Workshop Registration

Registration is free, and it includes breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks on both Friday and Saturday.

[Registration for this workshop has closed]


Friday, May 3

8:30am                 Breakfast

9:00am Welcome

9:15am Adam Smith: Defining and Interpreting "Privacy"

10:15am Discussant: Mallesh Pai

10:25am Questions

10:35am               Coffee Break

11:05am Ronen Gradwohl: Privacy in Implementation

11:50am Discussant: Sofya Raskhodnikova

12:00pm Questions

12:10pm               Lunch

1:45pm Kobbi Nissim: Privacy in Mechanism Design

2:30pm Discussant: Ilya Segal

2:40pm Questions

2:50pm                Coffee Break

3:20pm Dirk Bergemann: The Limits of Price Discrimination

4:05pm Discussant: Omer Reingold

4:15pm Questions

4:25pm Short presentations, followed by discussion: Rachel Cummings, Ragavendran Gopalakrishnan, Ronen Gradwohl, Stratis Ioannidis, Arman Khouzani, Sofya Raskhodnikova, Yunjian Xu

Saturday, May 4

8:30am                 Breakfast

9:00am Ilya Mironov: Advanced Enough Cryptography is Indistinguishable from Magic

9:45am Discussant: Federico Echenique

9:55am Questions

10:05am               Coffee Break

10:35am Denis Nekipelov: Identification and Disclosure Limitation

11:20am Discussant: Katrina Ligett

11:30am Questions

11:40am Aaron Roth: Differential Privacy as a Tool in Mechanism Design: Approximate Strategyproofness in Large Games

12:25pm Discussant: Rakesh Vohra

12:35pm Questions

12:45pm               Lunch

Travel & Hotel Information

Getting to the Workshop

For general directions to Caltech via air and local transportation, please visit the following link: Directions to Caltech.

The Workshop talks will take place in Room 105 of the Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology at Caltech - building #16 on a campus map.

If you are staying at the Hilton Pasadena, please see the hotel information below in regard to their free shuttle service to Caltech.

Lodging for the Workshop

The preferred hotel for the Workshop is the Hilton Pasadena:

Hilton Pasadena
168 South Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 577-1000

Note: The workshop will arrange a shuttle between the Hilton and compus at the start and end of each day.

A block of rooms is reserved for Workshop attendees at the discounted rate of $129/night (plus applicable taxes).

The deadline to reserve a room at the Workshop rate is April 9, 2013, or until the block is sold out (whichever comes first).


The most convenient parking for the Workshop can be found in either the Chester Lot (Lot 9) off of Chester Ave., or in the Holliston Structure (Structure 4) off of Holliston.

On Friday, attendees who wish to park on campus (rather than, e.g., walking or taking the shuttle from the Hilton) will be required to buy a visitor parking permit in order to park on-campus for the workshop. Visitors are allowed to park in unmarked spaces only. Information in regard to parking permit costs and purchasing can be found at Caltech's Parking & Commuter Services website.

On Saturday, attendees will not be required to buy a parking permit, as permit rules are only enforced Monday-Friday. However, attendees must still park in unmarked spaces only.

This workshop is sponsored by The Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences.