My research interest is in the economics of IT. My primary research seeks to analyze two related issues: (i) the economic consequences of the Internet on industries and markets transformed by its shared technology infrastructure, and (ii) the economic value accruing from the content generated in spaces mediated by social media and the means for monetization of such content. This poses many deep and fascinating questions. This program of research is being funded by a Google-WPP Marketing Research Award, an NSF SFS Award, a NSF CAREER Award, a Microsoft Live Labs Award, a Microsoft Virtual Earth Award, NET Institute Awards, and a NYU Research Challenge Fund Award.
Some current and past research projects include the following:
Social Media and Online Social Commerce: Projects in this domain examine the economic value of user-generated content (UGC) on the Internet such as in social media spaces (Economining). The key issues being studied are related to how textual feedback in reputation systems affects pricing power of sellers in electronic markets, comparing the impact of product vs. seller uncertainty based on user-generated feedback in used-good markets, the socio-economic impact of identity disclosure by reviewers in word-of-mouth (WoM) forums, sentiment analysis of product reviews in opinion forums, examining the drivers of content generation and usage by consumers in mobile digital media, and modeling users' learning behavior in mobile media. Another project examines how the Internet influences consumers' information search and purchase behavior through sponsored search and contextual advertising. The key issues being examined include how keyword content affects performance metrics in search engine advertising, the inter-relationship between organic and sponsored search advertising, how users' locations affects their search and purchase behavior, the cross-category spillovers accruing from sponsored search advertising. A third project examines linkages between user-generated content and sponsored search advertising by highlighting how user-generated content can be monetized using search advertising and how the presence of increasing volumes of UGC affects the efficiency of sponsored search markets.
Electronic Commerce: Projects in this domain deal with the welfare impact of newer intermediaries and retail markets in electronic commerce and geography-based channel substitution. Issues herein are related to the welfare impact of internet exchanges for used goods, how consumers' offline geographical locations affect their online purchases, how internet-based referral services affect channel profits, what drives price dispersion in business markets, and the impact of market frictions on demand in electronic markets. Another project deals with price discrimination in the digital economy. Key issues examined herein are related to personalized pricing on the Internet, one-to-one marketing with imprecise information, personalized pricing with multi-dimensional customization, and pricing and quality differentiation strategies of consumer software.
Economics of Information Security: This stream of work has examined incentives for security information sharing, information disclosure and corporate governance, pricing of security software, strategic interactions between cyber-terrorists and civilian institutions, and information disclosure in financial markets.