Research

Working Paper

  •  “Privacy, Information Acquisition, and Market Competition.” (Job Market Paper [Download])

Abstract:  This paper analyzes how the endogenous availability of personal information affects market outcomes in a two-sided market where sellers target advertisements to individuals who have varying privacy concerns. I focus on how a market entrant that has worse targeting technology than an incumbent is  affected by a lack of information. I show that an entrant is disproportionately affected by consumers’ privacy concerns. The welfare analysis shows that privacy concerns and the resulting market outcomes may lower consumer surplus and social welfare. Therefore, individually optimal decisions on data disclosure might not be socially optimal when aggregated. The empirical evidence, which is based on Google Android App Market data, corroborates the hypotheses in the model and the effectiveness of specific policy remedies that are derived from the theoretical findings.


  •  “Paid Peering and Investment Incentives for Network Capacity and Content Diversity.” (Under Review, [Download])

Abstract : This paper analyzes the effects of industry practice, the “paid peering” agreement, on conflicting incentives to invest in Internet network delivery quality and content diversity and on social welfare. I find that an Internet Service Provider is more likely to invest in network capacity to improve delivery quality under a paid peering agreement. On the other hand, Content Providers tend to invest in content diversity under settlement-free peering regimes because of hold-up problems. Due to the conflicting effects of paid peering on investment incentives, the overall effect on social welfare is ambiguous, depending largely on the extent to which consumers value network quality and content diversity.


  •  “Zero Rating and Vertical Content Foreclosure,” with Thomas Jeitschko and Aleksandr Yankelevich. (Updated, [Download])

Abstract: We study zero-rating, a practice whereby an Internet service provider (ISP) that limits retail data consumption exempts certain content from that limit. This practice is particularly controversial when zero-rated services are provided by an ISP that is vertically integrated into content because the data limit and ensuing overage charges impose an additional cost on rival content. As we show, the incentives to offer zero-rating and the resulting welfare consequences with and without vertical integration depend on two factors (i) the degree of differentiation between content providers’ services and (ii) whether or not the ISP can charge zero-rated content providers for exempting their data from the limit.


  •  “A Note of Caution on Using Hotelling Models in Platform Markets,” with Thomas Jeitschko and Aleksandr Yankelevich. (DICE Discussion Paper No 286, [Download])

Abstract: We study a Hotelling framework in which customers first need to pay a monopoly platform to enter the market before deciding between two competing services from the opposite side of the market.  Such a setup is, for instance, common when modeling competition between streaming video service providers.  We find that standard taken for granted full market coverage assumptions in earlier work break down when consumers must first pay the platform and that in this case, in the unique full coverage equilibrium, the competing service providers set substantially lower prices.  The typical full coverage equilibrium set of prices that results in the absence of a platform monopoly can be restored by giving competing service providers the first move, but this assumption is non-standard in platform market settings.

 

Work in Progress

  •  “An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Net Neutrality on Investment for Last Mile Broadband,” with Olga Ukhaneva and Aleksandr Yankelevich. [manuscript under preparation]

Abstract: This paper analyzes the most contested implications of imposing net neutrality: its impact on broadband Internet investment. Our identification strategy exploits differences in the extent to which ISPs’ networks are dedicated to video programming, a service not directly impacted by net neutrality and the ability of ISPs to shift investment to activities less affected by net neutrality (i.e., mobile wireless broadband). These comparisons make it possible to use differences-in-differences (DD) strategies to identify the causal effect of net neutrality regulation on investment outcomes for different types of service providers. The preliminary results show that whether net neutrality increased or decreased investment depends on the context: net neutrality increased investment in Telcos relative to Cable companies. However, it has a negative impact on wireline broadband network investment because LECs who have both a mobile wireless broadband business and wireline business shift investment to mobile during net neutrality. The results from the synthetic control method show the same patterns, which corroborates the finidngs.