Search Platforms: Big Data and Sponsored Positions

This July 2024 version of the paper studies a search platform#s incentives to rank firms’ products across sponsored and organic positions, accounting for the incentives of both firms and consumers.

Influencing Search

The paper shows that in search markets an influencer who recommends a product to her followers improves consumer surplus and total welfare despite the firm paying for her recommendation.
The paper is now accepted for publication at Rand Journal of Economics.

Consumer Search and Product Returns in E-Commerce

This paper studies competitive markets where consumers have to inspect products to see whether they like them. It shows how firms strategically choose their product return strategy to induce consumers to buy their product before inspecting it. It asks whether from an efficiency point of view the market creates too many or too few products returns.

Information Acquisition and Diffusion in Markets

This paper shows that word-of-mouth communication can prevent the well-known Diamond paradox to arise in a sequential search model. Consumers that do not search themselves may get informed about more prices and buy at the lowest price.

Dynamic Pricing with Uncertain Capacities

We analyze markets, such as those for airline tickets and hotel accommodations, where firms sell time-dated products and have private information about unsold capacities. We show that firms have less market power as under complete information.