Research

Working Papers

Personalization, Discrimination and Information Revelation, with Sinem Hidir 
 (paper)

We study a game in which a buyer has private valuations over a seller's product range, and can communicate these through costless messaging. The seller's preferred outcome is a fully revealing, efficient equilibrium that secures him the entire surplus whilst matching each buyer type to their preferred product. The buyer's preferred outcome is partially revealing; he releases only enough information to guarantee trade. This outcome is inefficient - almost all types purchase a sub-optimal product. Such a characterization rests on a natural trade-off faced by the buyer - reveal his type in order to secure his preferred good, or hide his type in order to secure a better price. We use our results to speak directly to the debate regarding product steering versus price discrimination in online retail.
This paper combines our previously circulated, independently written versions. Here's mine (winner: NYU Best Third Year Paper Award)


Backward Discounting, with Debraj Ray and Ruqu Wang (slidespaper)

We study a model in which lifetime individual utility is derived from both present and past consumption streams. Each of these streams is discounted, the former forward in the usual way, the latter backward.  We further assume that an individual at date t evaluates consumption programs according to some weighted average of her own felicity (as perceived at date t) and that of "future selves" at  dates greater than t. This simple formulation allows agents to partially anticipate future regret in current decisions, and generates a set of novel testable implications in line with empirical evidence. The model is used to capture the notion of parental influence and investigate its impact on equilibrium savings. The paper also examines other applications of "backward discounting".

Works in Progress

Ratings Design and Barriers to Entry

Slow Learning in Decentralized Lemons Markets, with Joshua Weiss (slides)

The Costs and Rewards of Lying in Cheap-Talk Games, with Ala Avoyan

Where are the medium types going?, with Paula Onuchic