Digital Economics Conference 2017


Digital Economics ConferenceDigital Economics is an annual day-and-a-half long conference hosted by Microsoft Research. This year’s theme is “Economists as Engineers: Applied Economics in Tech Firms”. We invite both internal and external economists, researchers and data scientists from both the private sector and academia to discuss advances using the novel problems and data sets found in the tech sector.  We especially look forward to papers focused on important applications which use novel econometric and machine learning techniques with unique tech sector data. The conference will be held over one and a half days on October 19th-20th, 2017. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served, as well as coffee as appropriate to timing on both days.


There will be two keynote addresses:

  • Preston McAfee, CVP and Chief Economist for Microsoft. Preston McAfee has had a distinguished career in academics including being on faculty at Cal Tech and editing the AER. Since the late 2000s has worked as an VP or senior economist at Yahoo! Research, Google and now Microsoft.
  • Steve Tadelis, VP of Economics and Market Design for Amazon. Steve Tadelis is a chaired professor in the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He worked as a Senior Director and Distinguished Economist at eBay Research Labs between 2011-2013 before returning to Haas and then arriving at Amazon.

Organizing committee

Jacob LaRiviere, Greg Lewis, and Matt Taddy

Hospitality Notice for University and Government Employees: Microsoft Research will be providing hospitality at this event. Please consult with your institution to determine whether you can accept meals and other hospitality under your institution’s ethics rules and any other laws that might apply.


*In-person speakers at event listed in bold

Thursday, October 19

Time Session
9:00 AM–11:00 AM

Social Networks

  • Social Networks and Housing Markets
    Michael Bailey (Facebook), Ruiping Cao (Harvard University), Theresa Kuchler (New York University), and Johannes Stroebel (New York University)
  • People are Our Greatest Asset: Measuring the Market Value of Human Capital
    Eric Brynjolfsson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Daniel Rock (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Prasanna Tambe (New York University), and Jacqueline Barrett (LinkedIn)
11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Keynote 1

  • Preston McAfee, Chief Economist, Microsoft
12:00 PM–1:00 PM
1:00 PM–3:00 PM

The Gig Economy

  • Service Quality in the Gig Economy: Empricial Evidence about Driver Safety at Uber
    Susan Athey (Stanford University), Juan Camillo Castillo (Stanford University), Dan Knoepfle (Uber)
  • Labor Market Equilibration: Evidence from Uber
    Jonathan Hall (Uber), John Horton (New York University & Uber), Dan Knoepfle (Uber)
3:00 PM–5:30 PM


  • Incrementality Bidding and Attribution
    Randall Lewis (Netflix)
  • A Comparison of Approaches to Advertising Measurement: Evidence from Big Field Experiments at Facebook
    Brett Gordon (Kellogg), Florian Zettelmeyer (Kellogg), Neha Nhargava (Facebook), San Chapsky (Facebook)
  • Advertising at Post-Purchase Stage
    Poppy Zhang (Microsoft), Shawndra Hill (Microsoft), and David Rothschild (Microsoft)
6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Friday, October 20

Time Session
9:00 AM–11:00 AM

Pricing and Product Development

  • Scalable Price Targeting
    Jean-Pierre Dube (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and Sanjog Misra (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
  • Innovation Is the New Competition: Product Portfolio Choices with Product Life Cycles
    Will Wang (Microsoft)
11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Keynote 2

  • Steve Tadelis, University of California, Berkeley