Working Papers

These papers are working drafts of research which often appear in final form in academic journals. The published versions may differ from the working versions provided here.

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Nikhil Agarwal, Itai Ashlagi, Michael Rees, Paulo Somaini, Daniel Waldinger
January 27, 2019

A transplant can improve a patient’s life while saving several hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare expenditures. Organs from deceased donors, like many other scarce public resources (e.g. public housing, child-care, publicly funded long-term...

Piotr Dworczak, Scott Duke Kominers, Mohammad Akbarpour
November 11, 2018

When macroeconomic tools fail to respond to wealth inequality optimally, regulators can still seek to mitigate inequality within individual markets. A social planner with distributional preferences might distort allocative efficiency to achieve a more desirable...

Hunt Allcott, Rebecca Diamond, Jean-Pierre Dubé, Jessie Handbury, Ilya A. Rahkovsky, Molly Schnell
November 9, 2018

We study the causes of “nutritional inequality”: why the wealthy eat more healthfully than the poor in the United States. Exploiting supermarket entry, household moves to healthier neighborhoods, and purchasing patterns among households with identical...

Shai Bernstein, Rebecca Diamond, Timothy James McQuade, Beatriz Pousada
November 6, 2018

We characterize the contribution of immigrants to US innovation, both through their direct productivity as well as through their indirect spillover effects on their native collaborators. To do so, we link patent records to a...

Susan Athey, Zhengyuan Zhou, Stefan Wager
October 10, 2018

In many settings, a decision-maker wishes to learn a rule, or policy, that maps from observable characteristics of an individual to an action. Examples include selecting offers, prices, advertisements, or emails to send to consumers,...

John Ameriks, Joseph Briggs, Andrew Caplin, Minjoon Lee, Matthew D. Shapiro, Christopher Tonetti
October 2, 2018

Older Americans, even those who are long retired, have strong willingness to work, especially in jobs with flexible schedules. For many, labor force participation near or after normal retirement age is limited more by a...

Susan Athey, Michael Luca
September 11, 2018

As technology platforms have created new markets and new ways of acquiring information, economists have come to play an increasingly central role in tech companies – tackling problems such as platform design, strategy, pricing, and...

Mohammad Akbarpour, Winnie van Dijk
September 2018

Students with identical valuations for public schools but unequal outside options have different opportunity costs of revealing their preferences. Consequently, manipulable mechanisms need not resolve conflicting preferences in a Pareto-improving manner. We show that when...

Lin William Cong, Charles M. C. Lee, Yuanyu Qu, Tao Shen
August 20, 2018

This study reports on the current state-of-affairs in the funding of entrepreneurship and innovations in China and provides a broad survey of academic findings on the subject. We discuss the implications of these findings for...

Charles I. Jones, Christopher Tonetti
July 31, 2018

Data is nonrival: a person’s location history, medical records, and driving data can be used by any number of firms simultaneously without being depleted. Nonrivalry leads to increasing returns and implies an important role for...

Saumitra Jha, Moses Shayo
July 26, 2018

How can we help individuals handle financial decisions in an increasingly complex environment? We explore an easily scalable avenue for improving financial understanding: learning by online trading in stocks. We randomly assign 1345 adults incentives...

Mohammad Akbarpour, Shengwu Li
July 16, 2018

Consider an extensive-form mechanism, run by an auctioneer who communicates sequentially and privately with agents. Suppose the auctioneer can deviate from the rules provided that no single agent detects the deviation. A mechanism is credible...

Stephen Comello, Stefan J. Reichelstein
July 2018

Energy storage will be key to overcoming the intermittency and variability of renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power. This paper proposes a cost metric for measuring the cost of energy storage and for...

Kun Kuang, Ruoxuan Xiong, Peng Cui, Susan Athey, Bo Li
June 16, 2018

In many important machine learning applications, the training distribution used to learn a probabilistic classifier differs from the testing distribution on which the classifier will be used to make predictions. Traditional methods correct the distribution...

Cody Cook, Rebecca Diamond, Jonathan Hall, John A. List, Paul Oyer
June 7, 2018

The growth of the “gig” economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favor women. We explore one facet of the gig economy by examining labor supply choices and earnings among more than a...

Rebecca Diamond, Michael J. Dickstein, Timothy James McQuade, Petra Persson
June 4, 2018

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established health insurance marketplaces where consumers can buy individual coverage. Leveraging novel credit card and bank account micro-data, we identify new enrollees in the California marketplace and measure their health...

Marco Giacoletti, Kristoffer T. Laursen, Kenneth J. Singleton
May 20, 2018

We study the evolution of risk premiums on US Treasury bonds from the perspective of a real-time Bayesian learner RA who updates her beliefs using a dynamic term structure model. Learning about the historical dynamics...

Mohammad Akbarpour, Suraj Malladi, Amin Saberi
April 2018

Identifying the optimal set of individuals to first receive information (`seeds’) in a social network is a widely-studied question in many settings, such as the diffusion of information, microfinance programs, and new technologies. Numerous studies...

Gunther Glenk, Stefan J. Reichelstein
April 2018

We examine the magnitude of synergistic effects in vertically integrated energy systems that arise when the external market for an intermediate input (electricity) is imperfect and the two subsystems are subject to operational volatility in...

Maria Dimakopoulou, Susan Athey, Guido W. Imbens
March 2, 2018

Although many contextual bandit algorithms have similar theoretical guarantees, the characteristics of real-world applications oftentimes result in large performance dissimilarities across algorithms. We study a consideration for the exploration vs. exploitation framework that does not...