My research interests lie in microeconomic theory, industrial organization, and behavioral economics.

Working papers:
  • Optimizing spatial allocations to minimize consumer travel (with Rebekah Dix)
    Computing optimal spatial allocations is important for two reasons. First, one may wish to implement them. Second, without a sense of an optimal spatial allocation, one cannot evaluate the efficiency of an observed spatial allocation. We develop numerical algorithms to compute near-optimal spatial allocations in both discrete and continuous spaces. For the latter, we take inspiration from Lloyd's algorithm, which finds evenly-spaced sets of points in subsets of Euclidean spaces. While more commonly used in computer science and electrical engineering, Lloyd’s algorithm's underlying logic of reaching optimality through iterated local optimization is equally appropriate in the context of spatial allocations. We demonstrate the algorithms with two applications: the allocations of gas stations on Interstate 90 exits, a discrete space; and those of supermarkets, hospitals, and fire stations in US cities.
  • Experimental evidence of myopia in dynamic spatial games (with Rebekah Dix)
    We design an experiment to evaluate behavior in a dynamic spatial game that loosely represents the incentives faced by drivers for a ride-sharing service while waiting to be matched with a rider. The design is unique in that it allows us to observe not only participants' choices, but also the considerations that went into those choices. The results of the experiment show that a large majority of player choices are consistent with myopic best responding. A myopic best response maximizes a player's flow payoff at the time of the decision but is not necessarily optimal as it ignores strategic considerations regarding the future choices of opponents. Given the observed prevalence of this behavior and the challenges of equilibrium analysis, which we detail, we argue in favor of computational models of spatial competition built upon myopic agents. Myopic behavior in our model results in quite efficient outcomes, suggesting that ride-sharing companies may benefit from sharing with drivers the locations of other nearby drivers to allow them to compete spatially.

  • Please, raise my input prices (with Nathan Grawe) [submitted]
    We explain how and in what circumstances a firm's profits might increase with a positive shock to input prices. This does not contradict Hotelling's lemma, as we assume the shock is felt by the firm and all of its opponents. Correlations between oil prices and average net farm incomes across commodity types are consistent with the theory and suggest that this paradoxical outcome is relevant in major markets. It may be a particular consideration in the ongoing consolidation of the agrochemical industry as producers of commodities with low elasticities of demand may benefit from the increased input prices resulting from consolidation.

  • Determinants of NBA ticket prices (with Ezra Frankel and Emily Walden)
    We use Stubhub secondary-market ticket data for NBA games combined with box score data to estimate the determinants of secondary-market NBA ticket prices. In particular, we can identify price impacts for some individual players, e.g. ticket prices are lower in Cavaliers games in which it is known beforehand that LeBron James will not play due to injury or rest. The remaining challenge on this project is identifying a good control for team quality. It can not be solely performance-based as a team's quality jumps discontinuously when trades occurs and in the off-season. But it must also take performances into account and be updated for each game. We continue to work on finding or constructing an appropriate measure.