Economists (and Economics) in Tech Companies
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 policy. Over the past five years, hundreds of PhD economists have accepted positions in the technology sector. In this paper, we explore the skills that PhD economists apply in tech companies, the companies that hire them, the types of problems that economists are currently working on, and the areas of academic research that have emerged in relation to these problems.
We thank Duncan Gilchrist and Guido Imbens for valuable feedback. Stephanie Chan and Byron Perpetua provided excellent research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Susan Athey serves on the boards of directors of Expedia (EXPE), Lending Club (LC), Rover, Ripple, and CoinCenter. She previously had a long term consulting relationship with Microsoft. She also advises venture capital firms X/Seed Capital and NYCA Partners.
Susan Athey & Michael Luca, 2019. "Economists (and Economics) in Tech Companies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 33(1), pages 209-230. citation courtesy of