Matthew Harding is an Economist who conducts research on Applied Econometrics with a focus on the use of Big Data to answer crucial policy questions in Energy/Environment and Health/Nutrition. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and a Stanford Institute for Economics Policy Research (SIEPR) Faculty Fellow.

He aims to understand how individuals make consumption choices in a data rich environment, and quantify the individual and social welfare impact of their choices. Building on a rigorous foundation in econometric methods, he explores the potential of
Big Data to estimate better models and predict the choices made by individuals, while taking into account both traditional economic models and recent developments in behavioral economics.

He designs and implements
large scale field experiments in collaboration with industry leaders to understand the unintended social consequences of individual choices and the extent to which behavioral nudges and price based mechanisms can be used as cost-effective means of improving individual and social welfare. His research relies on terabyte sized data sets on household energy consumption, food purchases and prescription records to build a comprehensive framework for understanding economic choices.

He develops cutting edge econometric methods for the practical analysis of Big Data econometric models using Bayesian and Quantile techniques, by focusing in particular on the role of unobserved heterogeneity in complex massive data. His econometric work is concerned with the estimation of large panel data models involving
latent variables and unobserved heterogeneity. His research also explores the use of nonparametric Bayesian methods to estimate choice models with random coefficients, duration models and heterogeneous treatment effects. Additionally, he uses quantile regression methods to develop new estimators for forecasting in Big Data.

His research is supported by the
Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, the NRDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Media Coverage: Huffington Post 01/07/2014 “There's An Easy Way To Fight Obesity, But Conservatives Will HATE It”