I was born in 1970.
I am a graduate of Galatasaray Lisesi, a high school which represents a tradition of education that is more than five centuries old.
My university education was in another tradition of education, Boğaziçi University, where I received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Economics.
My advisor was Murat Sertel, a great scientist and a friend whom I owe a lot and miss a lot.
Following the completion of my Ph.D. in 1998, I developed my whole professional career at Istanbul Bilgi University, a young but distinguished higher education institution of Turkey. There, I have been the founding director of the Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies which I beleive to be a center of excellence in mathematical social sciences. I have also served as the rector of my University between 2011 and 2015.
My scientific research can be described as the analysis of the collective decision making problem. My work is developed over four main axes which are the reflection of a coherent research agenda. The first axis is the analysis of the preference aggregation problem within the standard Arrovian framework. The second axis is the analysis of voting rules. The third axis is the particular emphasis given to the manipulability and strategy-proofness of voting rules. The fourth axis is the implementation of collective decision rules. As explained in more details below, my work contains original findings on each of these four axes, which contribute to our better understanding of the collective decision making problem, as well as helping to make better social decisions.
Most of my work on this axis is the attempt of better understanding the difficulties underlying the Arrovian preference aggregation problem. As a way of doing this, I explored the effects of weakening various conditions that lead to the Arrovian impossibility. For example, in Ozdemir and Sanver (2007), we show that the Arrovian impossibility prevails under very severe domain restrictions.
My work on this axis contains the axiomatic analysis of various social choice rules. To cite a few results, in Sanver (2002), I show that scoring rules cannot simultaneously ensure choosing an alternative ranked best by the majority and avoid choosing an alternative ranked worst by a majority. In Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2006a), we show under quite general conditions that when there are at least two proposals, referendum voting cannot ensure Pareto optimality.
One focus on this axis is my analysis of the robustness of the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem when multi-valued social choice rules are considered. In Ozyurt and Sanver (2008, 2009) we show that the Gibbard-Sattethwaite impossibility prevails over multi-valued social choice rules under very general conditions.
My work on this axis, which is mainly on implementability via Nash equilibria, took three main directions. One direction is the design of mechanisms which weaken the necessary conditions for Nash implementability, hence expanding the set of collective decision rules that are implementable via Nash equilibria.
For example, mechanisms with awards (Sanver (2006a)) or mechanisms with set-valued outcome functions (Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2006b)) pave the way to implement via Nash equilibria certain interesting collective decision rules which are otherwise non-implementable. In a similar vein, as Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2005) show, certain type pretension mechanisms lead to positive results regarding the implementability of matching rules.
Another direction is the analysis of social choice rules that are not Nash implementable, aiming to see “how far” they are from being implementable. A way to approach this question is to compute the minimal extension that renders a social choice rule Nash implementable as Erdem and Sanver (2005) do for scoring rules and Sanver (2006b) does for the majority rule. In the same direction but with a different approach, Sanver (2008) characterizes the domain restrictions that render the plurality rule Nash implementable. Again as a contribution to this direction, in Benoit, Ok and Sanver (2007), we propose a new approach to evaluate the “closeness” of social choice rules to be Nash implementable. The third direction is to explore the “performance” of certain collective decision rules by computing the equilibrium outcomes of the preference manipulation game that they induce when instituted as the outcome function. For example, we know from we know from Sertel and Sanver (2004) that for a fairly large class of voting rules, when strong Nash equilibrium is the solution concept, the achieved outcome is the Condorcet winner or a kind of its generalization. Results of the same spirit prevail for public good economies: Sertel and Sanver (1999) show that when the Lindahl rule is instituted without knowing initial endowments, at the Nash eqilibria of the endowment-pretension game we reach the voluntary contributions solution. Sanver (2005) derives similar results for a more general class of public good allocation rules.
Turkey has a strong tradition of mathematical social sciences, initiated by Murat Sertel, almost 30 years ago. This tradition, almost unnoticed by the Turkish public opinion, is known and respected in international academic environments. One can very confidently say that Turkey is on the academic world map of Economic Theory.
The graduate programme in Economics at Bilgi University is a part of this tradition of mathematical social sciences. It aims to equippe students with the necessary and sufficient background to pursue a Ph. D. degree in economics or political economy in any respected academic institution of the world.
We welcome any student with strong analytical skills, independent of his/her undergraduate degree.
Official information about the programme can be found at http://gradecon.bilgi.edu.tr/. (Don’t be fooled by the fact that it is classified under the “MBA” category! It has nothing to do with a masters in business administration.)
The structure of the programme is fairly simple. The first year, students take four courses per semester. Three of these (Econometrics, Macroeconomic Theory and Microeconomic Theory) are core courses. They are also expected to take one elective course per semester. Electing courses on (applied) mathematics is consistent with the spirit of the programme.
The second year is reserved for the masters thesis. A masters thesis means a (possibly modest) contribution to the body of scientific knowledge. Testing the existence of such a contribution will be according to international standards –which means via its publishability in internationally respected scientific journals.
Hence, having high grades in the courses is necessary but not sufficient to be classified as a good student. What we understand by a good student is one who is able to do scientific research according to international standards.
We are able to give around ten full scolarships every year on a competitive basis, thanks to the generosity of the board of trustees of Bilgi University.
Each year's Bosphorus Workshop on Economic Design (BWED) is a week-long gathering of a small group of people interested in Economic Design. The Workshop used to meet on the Bosphorus at Bogazici (which means Bosphorus) University, Istanbul and would end with a cruise in this strait, whose name we still carry.
In 1983, we took the cruise down South to Bodrum (the ancient Halicarnassos) which is a resort town on the Aegean Coast and since 1984 we have simply taken the Workshop itself on board, going out on a pair of yachts for the entire week of the Workshop. Typically, we embark/disembark at one of the Southwestern Turkish yachting ports of Bodrum, Marmaris or Gocek (by Fethiye). Instead of holding the conference at a hotel, we do it at sea, on our yachts, waking up in a new bay every morning.
From ten to a dozen presentations on Economic Design are made at each workshop. (On two yachts we have a total of ten to twelve cabins, and we average a paper per cabin.) This means about two presentations each morning, beginning after our first breakfast on board, i.e. on the first day after we sail. This is the ``formal" part of the Workshop, and much discussion continues on deck or during a walk on shore or in the sea. During the ``formal" Workshop each morning the two ships are separated, one of them becoming strictly for the sessions and the other serving the accompanying non-economists. The ships are brought back together for lunch and thereafter.
The Workshops are self-financed, i.e. they are run on a cost-sharing formula applied to the participants. You can expect that it will cost $1600 a couple, including a week's food and drink and accomodation in the double cabin occupied by the couple. This includes the service we get from a captain, a cook and a mate on each yacht. The culinary aspect has so far been pretty satisfactory. Getting to our point of embarkation and from our point of disembarkation is the participant's own business, and of course uncovered by the above formula.
Depending on whether you want to see Istanbul, or the Izmir region(with Ephesus and Pergamon) or Antalya and its historical surroundings, you can fly into Istanbul, Izmir or Antalya. Or else you can fly to Dalaman, which is the nearest airport to our ships. Likewise for the return.
If you need help, please ask for it, and I will try to be useful.
Alumni of the Workshop are a good source of further information, and you are likely to be close to someone, so a list of them is included below for your consultation:
Sydney Afriat, Nuray Akin, Charalambos Aliprantis, Ahmet Alkan, Sumru Altug, Bora Arslan, Mehmet Bac, Nick Baigent, Salvador Barbera, Erdem Basci, Ken Binmore, Francis Bloch, Harun Bulut, David Cass, Suchan Chae, Fangruo Chen, Carl Chiarella, Alexandro Citanna, Sergio Currarini, Todd Davies, Rajat Deb, Gabrielle Demange, Evsey Domar, Bhaskar Dutta, Nevzat Eren, Haluk Ergin, Maria Paz Espinosa, Joan Esteban, Chaim Fershtman, William Gehrlein, Faruk Gul, David Gale, Lu Hong, Leonid Hurwicz, Tatsuro Ichiishi, Rahmi Ilkilic, Matthew Jackson, Ayca Kara, Tarik Kara, Ayca Kaya, Cagatay Kayi, Rich Kihlstrom, Paul Kleindorfer, Semih Koray, Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky, John Ledyard, Thomas Marschak, Robin Marris, Leslie Marx, Michael Maschler, Dennis Mueller, Peter Mueller, Rosemarie Nagel, Bilin Neyapti, Juan Pablo Nicolini, Jorge Nieto, Efe Ok, Benan Zeki Orbay, Hakan Orbay, Ipek Ozkal-Sanver, Szilvia Papai, Ivan Pastine, Tuvana Pastine, Charlie Plott, Andy Postlewaite, Luis Quintas, Martine Quinzii, Roy Radner, Remzi Sanver, Norman Schofield, James Schummer, Arunava Sen, Ayse Mumcu Serdar, Murat Sertel, Hugo Sonnenschein, Alexandre Sotskov, Ennio Stacchetti, Alfred Steinherr, Kotaro Suzumura, William Thomson, Alain Trannoy, Jacques Thisse, Jose-Ramon Uriarte, Shlomo Weber, John Weymark, Simon Wilkie, Ali Nuvit Veysoglu, Mehmet Emin Yildirim, Muhamet Yildiz, Jose M. Zarzuelo, Unal Zenginobuz.
It was held between 23-30 August at Marmaris. 13 presentations were made.
Professor of Economics, Director of Research at CNRS