The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and its Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation (CAASI) will be virtually hosting the 50th anniversary of the NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) Decentralization Conference focused on Mechanism Design for Vulnerable Populations April 15-17, 2021. 

The goal of this year's conference is to connect research in mathematical economics on institutional design to the practical realities of serving vulnerable populations. Talks span general mechanism design theory as well as topics such as assignment problems in foster care, refugee resettlement, low-income housing, affirmative action, nutrition assistance, and criminal justice.  

Each talk will be followed by an open discussion allowing for more substantial engagement with each topic between both researchers and practitioners. The conference will serve as a forum for exchanging ideas and building social networks dedicated to connecting technical innovation with passion and public service work for social change. 

Click here for more information, registration, and access to the full conference schedule.

The conference series is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation that is administered through the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Additional support for programing has been generously provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).  

Contact Sera Linardi ( or Scott E. Page ( with any questions.