Joint with Imanol Arrieta Ibarra, Tiago Caruso, and E. Glen Weyl
There has been a recent call for companies to acknowledge and
pay for the data their algorithms use to make profits. In order
to achieve this, there needs to be a way to price data. Current
efforts have tried to ascribe the value of data to hidden costs
such as the loss of privacy. We present a novel approach to estimating
an upper bound for the economic value of data in algorithms.
Our method does not assume that users have failed to internalize
any costs in data production (such as privacy). Here we show that
the price of data is in great part determined by the power dynamics
present in markets. We apply our method to ride-sharing, simulating
a market using data from a large ride-sharing platform (Uber). We
estimate that in our scenario, with users having full market power,
data would contribute up to 47% of Uber's revenue. This would translate
to average payments to drivers of approximately $30 per day, solely as
compensation for the value of the data they generate as drivers, which
corresponds to 20 to 40 percent of a average driver's daily earnings.
Currency Depreciations and Savings Behavior: Evidence from Household Deposits in Armenia
Joint with Aleksandr Shirkhanyan, and Joshua Kim
A unique problem that households in the developing world often face is how to safely
store their assets when the value of the local currency is unstable. In this paper,
we study how households make such savings decisions following a large currency depreciation
in Armenia. We exploit the unique structure of Armenian financial instruments, which generates
quasi-random variation in which savers are nudged into paying attention to the depreciation.
Using a differences-in-differences design, we find that individuals who received a nudge to
pay attention to the currency depreciation significantly reduced their total savings, held their
savings for shorter periods of time, and chose to save their assets in USD. These random nudges
that induce differential initial attention affects the future savings choices that individuals make.
While some of the differences in savings decisions could be, in principle, temporary, we show that they
persist long after the original depreciation event.
And Some, I Assume, Are Good People: Drivers of Mexican Migration to the US
Joint with Eduardo Laguna