Archive for March 12th, 2014

What do economists do at Google?

March 12, 2014

Apart from just pure tech stuff, Google is emerging as a great place for econs to work. There are two main areas econs can look at within Google – One is the Industrial Organisation perspective where you look at how Google can create more value for stakeholders via its internet platform. And second ofcourse, analysing the huge data being churned to determine economic trends..

Hal Varian gives a short answer here:

I’m the Chief Economist at Google, so I believe I am uniquely qualified to answer this question.

I joined the company in 2002 and initially worked on the economics of the AdWords auction.  Since then, I have worked on many other auction design problems including the AdSense auction, the IPO auction, ad exchange auctions, spectrum auctions, and top-level domain auctions.  You can see some of this work here.  

I have also worked on query and revenue forecasting, advertiser behavior, ad effectiveness, and a number of other econometrics projects.  We have hundreds of statisticians, econometricians, data scientists, and other quantitative analysts at Google and I try to coordinate communications among these groups via periodic get togethers and newsletters.  In addition, I provide analysis and input on a number of policy issues, including antitrust, patents, copyright, and innovation policy. My team of economists, statisticians, and data engineers that works in all the areas described above, as well as several other areas.

I will not be surprised if we stop relying on our boring and inadequate macro data. Google could takeover and give us more realtime data on variety of things..Role of statisticians in particular is going to be enormously important in coming years…

How and why economic outcomes of Barbados and Jamaica differed post 1973?

March 12, 2014

Being a cricket follower, interest in Caribbean region remains high. One keeps hoping that West Indies team of yore comes back and we again get to see battery of pace bowlers. Cricket has become too much of a batters game as of now..

So, this paper by Matthew Clair, Peter Blair Henry and Sandile Hlatshwayo on the two countries within Caribbean is pretty interesting. They show economic outcomes for Jamaica and Barbados differed post 1973. Both regions had near similar kinds of institutions and structure but different economic policies changed the outlook in the two places. There was an earlier paper as well by Peter Henry on similar lines but it did not specifically look at the year where the two countries differed. (Plus another paper on Barbados vs Guyana which emphasises on the institutions).


Ten Economic Scenarios for 2114..

March 12, 2014

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta of LSE has edited a book by the title — In 100 Years: Leading Economists Predict the Future, As the book intro says it is on lines of Keynes’s 1930 essay -Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.

Peter Coy at BW summarises the broad ideas. Environment tops the agenda and concern list:


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