- For-Profit Journals Must End
- As the cost to deliver information falls, for-profit journals are not just exclusionary but also economically inefficient.
- What an Economist Means by Rationality
- The bedrock of modern economic methodology is both more powerful and more innocuous than you think.
- Aging Happens to Us All
- How we might achieve deeper yet more accessible debate on economic policy by focusing less on the details, via the case study of aging populations.
- Cats Among the Pigeons: Top Economic Reads
- A few book recommendations from summer 2015.
Academic journal articles (my Google Scholar page)
- Skepticism and credulity: a model and applications to political spin, belief formation, and decision weights (forthcoming at The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, link here)
- A decision maker forms beliefs and opinions using a dialectic heuristic that depends on their degree of skepticism or credulity. Excessive credulity makes the model consistent with known anomalies in belief formation and probability assessment, and with characteristics of the nature of political spin. [Updates and replaces “A Dialectic Model of Belief Formation” from 2018]
- Investment in ideas when genius and madness look alike (Economics Bulletin, 2019)
- What happens when ingenious ideas are hard to distinguish from terrible ideas? Some well-known patterns in IPO and investment returns arise in a model with this feature, even without asymmetric information. Ideas at the extremes of the quality distribution receive rationally and systematically incorrect levels of investment.
- Picking a loser: strategic surprise in a design and development game (Managerial and Decision Economics, October 2018), pdf working paper version
- Intermediaries can help everyone do better in competitive standard-setting problems by acting as a commitment device that strategically sometimes rewards ‘bad’ ideas. Applications to political primaries and technology compatibility problems.
- Availability of Better Data on Communication Networks can Undermine Community Enforcement (Review of Economic Analysis, 2018)
- Precise, non-anonymous data on communication networks can undermine the ability of those networks to police bad behavior by outsiders.
- Ownership and Pricing of Information: A Model and Application to Open Access (Information Economics and Policy, December 2015), pdf working paper version
- Model of use of information with an intergenerational externality; in general neither competitive or monopolized markets correct the externality; as costs fall, monopolized information is increasingly inefficient; open access is good for either efficiency, consumer surplus, or both.
- Localized Price Promotions as a Quality Signal in a Publicly Observable Network (Quantitative Marketing and Economics, March 2015), pdf working paper version
- Signaling game with consumers arranged in a network that transmits quality information; efficient signaling requires considering set connectivity rather than individual connectivity.
- Privacy Regulation and Market Structure, with Avi Goldfarb and Catherine Tucker (Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Spring 2015), pdf working paper version
- Regulation to protect consumers’ data could be anti-competitive; global opt-in privacy rules may induce less distortion to competition.
- Targeting Informative Messages to a Network of Consumers (Review of Network Economics, September 2012), pdf working paper version
- Firms competing to inform a population in which consumers share information across network links; targeting patterns depend on structure of the informers’ industry; in some cases network owners strategically induce an advertising arms race in equilibrium.
Academic working papers
- Inefficiencies in the market for ownership of ideas (with April M. Franco, working paper, draft 10/9/2017)
- Forces of cannibalization, product market competition, and fit costs generate inefficient outcomes in the market for ideas, even without contracting frictions or asymmetric information. Some ideas are inefficiently acquired and killed by incumbent firms; some are inefficiently developed by incumbent firms rather than spin-outs or start-ups.
- Eccentric experts (working paper)
- Experts who try to identify superior products may have eccentric tastes or fallibility that causes mistakes. Eccentricity, though, can be welfare enhancing by encouraging experimentation among producers.
- Senders choose whether to produce “scoops” or “takes”—costly original content, or costless commentary on previous scoops. The sender has incentive to invest in take-generating technology but not scoop-generating technology, and when there are multiple senders, there are inefficiently many takes relative to scoops.
A few things I’m currently working on: valuing social network data, literary readings of intermediate microeconomics models, learning and assimilation in organizations, competitive public relations, and an angel/devil on your shoulders model of decision-making. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to talk about these, or any other topics you think I might be interested in.