'math+econ+code' masterclass

on optimal transport

and economic applications

January 18-22, 2021

This intensive course, part of the ‘math+econ+code’ series, is focused on models of demand, matching models, and optimal transport methods, with various applications pertaining to labor markets, economics of marriage, industrial organization, matching platforms, networks, and international trade, from the crossed perspectives of theory, empirics and computation. It will introduce tools from economic theory, mathematics, econometrics and computing, on a needs basis, without any particular prerequisite other than the equivalent of a first year graduate sequence in econ or in applied math.
Because it aims at providing a bridge between theory and practice, the teaching format is somewhat unusual: each teaching “block” will be made of a mix of theory and coding (in Python), based on an empirical application related to the theory just seen. Students are expected to write their own code, which is expected to be operational at the end of each block. This course is therefore closer to cooking lessons than to traditional lectures.



Practical information

• The course will be taught online over five consecutive days, January 18-22, 2021,  8am - 12noon US Eastern time / 2pm-6pm Paris time. 

• Additionally, five advanced lectures will be taught online on a monthly basis afterwards, February- June 2021. Precise days of the lectures will be announced later.

• The instructor is Alfred Galichon (professor of economics and of mathematics at NYU and affiliate professor at Sciences Po), and the TA is Jules Baudet (graduate student at ENS, EQUIPRICE team member). 

Course outline

Day 1: basics of linear programming

Monday 1/18, 4h


The diet problem and linear programming duality. Network flow problems. Dynamic programming.

Day 2: optimal transport

Tuesday 1/19, 4h

The optimal assignment problem. Entropic regularization and the IPFP. Semi-discrete optimal transport.

Day 3: random utility models

Wednesday 1/20, 4h


The Emax operator and the entropy of choice. Demand inversion via optimal transport.

Day 4: models of demand

Thursday 1/21, 4h

The pure characteristics model. The random coefficients logit model.

Day 5: matching models with transferable utility

Friday 1/22, 4h

Matching estimation. The Choo and Siow model. The gravity equation and its estimation.

+ 5 advanced lectures

February to June, 2h each

Lectures on related advanced mathematical / computational topics to complement the masterclasses and solidify the theoretical knowledge.

Advanced lectures

Special lecture 1 

Cloud computing

Feb 5, 2pm-4pm CET

Guest speakers: Flavien Léger (Sciences Po) and James Nesbit (NYU).

Special lecture 2

Estimation of dynamic discrete choice problems

March 5, 2pm-4pm CET


Alfred Galichon

Special lecture 3

Kidney exchange problems

April 16, 2pm-4pm



Jules Baduet

Special lecture 4

Matrix games

May 14, 2pm-4pm  CET


Alfred Galichon

Special lecture 5

 Traffic congestion, June 4, 2pm-4pm CET


Alfred Galichon