Contact Information:

Heinz College
Carnegie Mellon University
4800 Forbes Avenue, HBH 3028
Pittsburgh PA, 15213
Email:
Voice: 412-268-5978
Fax: 412-268-5338
Office: Hamburg Hall 3028
Assistant: Steven Paschke (Hamburg Hall 3004,
412-268-1185)


New:

  • December-15: My paper with Uttara Ananthakrishnan and Beibei Li was presented at the International Conference on Information Systems, and was a nominee for the best conference paper award. In the paper we analyze how firms should respond to fraudulent reviews and find that flagging potentially fraudulent reviews is a much more effective strategy than censoring potentially fraudulent reviews, both in terms of customer engagement and customer trust.

  • December-15: My paper with Uttara Ananthakrishnan and Beibei Li was presented at the Workshop on Information Systems and Economics, and was the runner-up for the best student paper award. In the paper we analyze how the entry of AirBNB impacts the quality and prices provided by traditional hotels.

  • November-15: C-SPAN rebroadcast a panel I was on at the 2015 Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum.

  • November-15: Brett Danaher delivered a paper co-authored with Rahul Telang and myself at the World Intellectual Property Organization Advisory Committee on Enforcement in Geneva, Switzerland. The paper is titled “Copyright Enforcement in the Digital Age: Empirical Economic Evidence and Conclusions.”

  • November-15: I gave a talk titled “Carrots and Sticks: Empirical Evidence on Strategies for Competing with Piracy,” at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management’s, MIS Speaker’s Series.

  • September-15: An interview with me appeared on the Association for Information Systems “Ten Questions” series.

  • August-15: Peter Boatwright, Patrick Choi and I have a new paper that analyzes the interaction between consumption of the theatrical release of a movie and consumption of DVD sales. We use snowstorms to break the endogeneity between unobserved movie quality and sales in both channels, and find that theatrical sales complement DVD consumption. When more people see a movie in a particular city, there is a causal increase in DVD consumption in that city for that movie. We blogged about our research results here.

  • August-15: I moderated a panel on “Music Licensing: Moving to the Digital Era” at the 2015 Technology Policy Institute, Aspen Forum.

  • July-15: My paper with Ashish Agarwal and Kartik Hosanagar titled “Do Organic Results Help or Hurt Sponsored Search Performance?” is forthcoming at Information Systems Research.

  • June-15: Liron Sivan, Rahul Telang, and I have updated our paper analyzing whether making infringing content less prominent in search results has an impact on consumers’ decisions to consume legal versus infringing content. We have a blog entry about the paper at the Technology Policy Institute’s blog site, but the basic finding is that consumers are surprisingly sensitive to the prominence of legal versus infringing content: When legal content is displayed more prominently, consumers are more likely to purchase through legal channels than they otherwise would be; and when infringing content is displayed more prominently, consumers are more likely to consume infringing content than they otherwise would be.

  • June-15: My paper with Miguel Godinho de Matos and Pedro Ferreira was accepted for presentation at the National Bureau of Economics 2015 Summer Institute workshop on the Economics of IT and Digitization. The paper analyzes the results of a field experiment with a major European Internet Service Provider where we randomized offers of free content to a set of the ISP’s users. We found that offering free content to users had significant, but short lived, effect on piracy: While the content was free, users reduced their consumption of piracy, but after the free trial ended, users returned to their prior levels of piracy. Our results suggest that free trials of legal services is not a long term strategy for reducing the consumption of pirated content.

  • June-15: Brett Danaher, Rahul Telang and I have a new paper analyzing the impact of site blocking in the UK on legal consumption. We find that site blocking can be effective at increasing visits to legal sites if a sufficient number of sites are blocked: in our data, blocking 1 site (The Pirate Bay) didn’t change the consumption of legal content, but blocking multiple sites did. We’re blogged about our results at the Technology Policy Institute, and Netopia interviewed us about the results.

  • June-15: My paper with Jing Gong and Rahul Telang appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Retailing. In the paper, we analyze the results of a randomized price experiment on motion picture content sold through a digital distributor. We find that consumers are extremely sensitive to price changes, and we find some evidence that lower purchase prices can increase the sales of rental products.

  • May-15: My paper with Jing Gong and Rahul Telang was published in this month’s Journal of Retailing. The paper analyzes cross-channel effects between movie sales and movie rentals on iTunes.

  • April-15: Alejandro Zentner and I have a chapter on how technology changes retail markets that is forthcoming in the Handbook on the Economics of Retail and Distribution.

  • January-15: My paper with Uttara Ananthakrishnan and Beibei Li was accepted at the Winter Conference on Business Intelligence. The paper analyzes fraudulent reviews online and discusses how review portals can detect fraudulent reviews and whether they should censor such reviews or display them with a notation that they are potentially fraudulent.

  • January-15: My paper with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz and Hal Varian was presented at the AEA meetings. The paper uses a natural experiment involving which teams quality for the Super Bowl, to study the causal impact of movie advertisements on box office sales. The experiment relies on the fact that viewership is higher in cities of teams that quality for the Super Bowl and that the qualifying teams aren’t known at the time studios purchase their advertisements. Our estimates suggest that movies in our sample experience an $8.4 million increase in ticket sales from a $3 million Super Bowl advertisement.