Work in Progress

Superstar exclusivity in two-sided markets

with E. Carroni (Bologna) and S. Shekhar (TISEM Tilburg). Management Science. Accepted.
In most platform environments, the exclusive provision of premium content from leading creators (Superstars) is employed as a strategy to boost user participation and secure a competitive edge vis-à-vis rivals. In this article, we study the impact of Superstar exclusive content provision on platform competition and complementors' homing decisions. Two competing platforms facilitate interactions between consumers and  suppliers, of which the latter  are identified by the Superstar and a fringe of  complementors (e.g.,independent developers, amateurs). When platform competition is intense, more consumers become affiliated with the platform favored by Superstar exclusivity. This mechanism is self-reinforcing as  it generates an entry cascade of complementors and some complementors singlehome on the favored platform. We find that cross-group externalities are key in shaping market outcomes. First,  exclusivity  benefits complementors and might make consumers better off when cross-group externalities are large enough.  Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, vertical integration (platform-Superstar) may make exclusivity less likely than vertical separation  under reasonable conditions.  Finally, we discuss implications for the strategies of platform owners, managers of Superstars and complementors, and antitrust enforcers.

Platform liability and innovation

with D-S. Jeon (TSE) and Y. Lefouili (TSE). New version coming soon
Funded by the NET Institute Summer Grants 2021 [Presentation @ Economics of Platforms]

We study a platform's incentives to delist IP-infringing products and the effects of holding the platform liable for the presence of such products on innovation and consumer welfare. For a given number of buyers, platform liability increases innovation by reducing the competitive pressure faced by innovative products.  However, there can be a misalignment of interests between innovators and buyers. Furthermore, platform liability can have unintended consequences, which overturn the intended effect on innovation. Platform liability tends to increase (decrease) innovation and consumer welfare when the elasticity of participation of innovators is high (low) and that of buyers is low (high).

Exclusive data, price manipulation, and market leadership

with Y. Gu (Henley Business School) and C. Reggiani (JRC Digital Economy). Last Updated: June 2022. R&R [CESifo Featured Article, November 2019] [Non-technical summary]  [CESifo Summary]  [Presentation @ MACCI/EPoS]
The unprecedented access of firms to consumer-level data not only facilitates more precisely targeted individual pricing but also alters firms' strategic incentives. We show that exclusive access to a list of consumers can provide incentives for a firm to endogenously assume the price leader's role, and so to strategically manipulate its rival's price. Prices and profits are non-monotonic in the share of profiled consumers. For an intermediate share, price leadership entails an equilibrium outcome characterised by supra-competitive prices and low consumer surplus. For a limited share, the incentive to lead is absent, whereas for a large share competition kicks in and the price manipulation mechanism breaks down.

Platform lending

with Leonardo Gambacorta (Bank for International Settlements) and Bruno M. Parigi (Padova) In progressAwarded the BIS Research Fellowship
We study an e-commerce platform's incentive to enter the credit market and offer loans for vendors' innovations. The platform earns from both its lending activity and fees collected on transactions in the marketplace. If the platform does not offer loans, it might find it convenient to charge a high fee that will appeal to non-innovators only, thereby stifling innovation.  If the platform offers loans, it engages in a cross-subsidy raising the fee and lowering the loan rate. We identify conditions under which  the platform finds it optimal to enter the credit market as the combination of interest rate and fee allows the platform to separate innovative and non-innovative vendors and price discriminate them. Platform lending always harms non-innovative vendors and can benefit innovators.

Competition for prominence

with F. Ciotti (UCLouvain) In progress
Intermediaries linking retailers to buyers may influence consumers' purchasing decisions by assigning a prominent position to one retailer. In this paper, we study the business strategy employed by intermediaries (in particular, online marketplaces) of listing all the offers for a specific product available in the market and selecting a default, or prominent, retailer. As some consumers only consider the prominent offer, obtaining the default position translates into exclusive access to some consumers. We show that such a scheme leads retailers to fiercely (endogenously) compete for prominence, significantly benefits the intermediary and consumers, but it may hurt retailers.
Content moderation and advertising in social media platformswith M. Quinn (Rotterdam School of Management). New version coming soonAwarded the Giorgio Rota Best Paper Award 2019.

Platform duality and network externalities

with A. Gautier (Liège) and S. Shekhar (TISEM Tilburg). [TSE Video Talk], New version coming soon

Deceptive features and hidden prices: the case of Airbnb cleaning fees

with Michelangelo Rossi (Telecom Paris), Kevin Tran (Bristol), and Mark Tremblay (Miami Univ) In progress

Publications

Superstar exclusivity in two-sided markets. Management Science. Accepted.

with  E. Carroni (Bologna) and S. Shekhar (TISEM Tilburg).Selected for the Distinguished Affiliate Award at CESifo "Economics of Digitization" 2018.  Nominated for the Antitrust Writing Award 2019.  CESifo Featured Article, April 2019.[SSRN]    [Non-technical summary]   [Expert Opinion for Compass Lexecon]

Collusion sustainability with a capacity constrained firm. Oxford Economic Papers. Forthcoming.

with A. Pignataro (ARERA). 

The economics of platform liability. European Journal of Law & Economics. 2022.

with Y. Lefouili (TSE). [Presentation @ Economics of Platforms]

Data brokers co-opetition. Oxford Economic Papers. 2022.

with Y. Gu (Henley Business School) and C. Reggiani (JRC Digital Economy).
[Non-technical summary at Liverpool Insights 2019/2] [Latest WP Version]

Do-it-yourself medicine? The impact of (unintended) light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs. Journal of Health Economics. 2020.
with V. Carrieri (Magna Grecia Univ) and F. Principe (Bergamo)

Our take on Lavoce.info. Media coverage: Business Insider; HempIndustrydaily; Corriere di Calabria; TheGreenEntrepeneur, CannabisNow; TheHighTimes; The Health Economists' Blog; [Non-technical summary]   [IZA Working Paper]

Light cannabis and organized crime. Evidence from unintended liberalization in Italy . European Economic Review. 2019.
with V. Carrieri (Magna Grecia Univ) and F. Principe (Bergamo)

Our take on Lavoce.info. Media Coverage: ANSA; Business Insider; Repubblica; Wired; AGI; Open; Affari Italiani; TPILettera43; Fuoriluogo; RADIO24; HempIndustrydaily; VICE (2019); VICE (2020) IlSecoloXIX; The Vision; Reuters, NOS.nl

Vaccine hesitancy and (fake) news: Quasi-experimental evidence from Italy. Health Economics. 2019.
with V. Carrieri (Magna Grecia Univ) and F. Principe (Bergamo)

Most Downloaded Articles at Health Economics. Media Coverage: The Health Economists' Blog. Corriere del Trentino. Comminit (Canada) // Wikipedia Entry

Intermodal competition and substitution. HSR versus air transport: understanding the socio-economic determinants of modal choice. Research in Transportation Economics. 2020.
with A.S. Bergantino (Bari). Special Issue: Air Transport Markets, Strategies and Policies 

Intra- and inter-regional commuting. Assessing the role of wage differentials. Papers in Regional Science. 2019.
with A.S. Bergantino (Bari).