Hi! Welcome to my website. I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Ashoka University. I did my Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick. I am an applied economic theorist with a primary interest in information economics. I study issues in organizational economics and political economy.
Check out my detailed CV here.
THE NEWSROOM DILEMMA with Federico Trombetta
Conventional wisdom suggests that competition in the modern digital environment pushes media outlets toward the early release of less accurate information. We show that this is not necessarily the case. We argue that two opposing forces determine the resolution of the speed-accuracy tradeoff: preemption and reputation. More competitive environments may be more conducive to reputation building. Therefore, it is possible to have better reporting in a more (Internet-driven) competitive world. However, we show that the audience may be worse off due to another consequence of the Internet -- outlets' better initial information. Finally, we show how a source may exploit the speed-accuracy tradeoff to quickly get "unverified facts" out to the audience.
EFFECTIVE SUPERVISION with Zeinab Aboutalebi
(Previously titled "Feedback on Ideas")
When can an employer effectively motivate its employees to experiment through supervision? Only when both the employees and the supervisors are confident in the employees' ability. We obtain this result in the context of an agent-supervisor model with experimentation and feedback. An agent works on a project, comprising an idea generation phase followed by an idea implementation phase. A supervisor provides unverifiable feedback on her ideas. We investigate when the supervisor can effectively persuade the agent to continue experimenting with ideas. Giving feedback involves the following tradeoff for the supervisor: while honest feedback encourages the agent to discard bad ideas, it can also be demotivating. Our framework provides novel insight into the gender performance gap, as less confident women may underperform due to ineffective supervision. We also discuss the relevant policy implications of our results.
WORK IN PROGRESS
OPTIMAL INTERMEDIARY TEST DESIGN with Zeinab Aboutalebi
Paper coming soon
We consider how a profit-maximizing intermediary designs, prices, and discloses tests to facilitate signaling between a sender and a receiver. Designing more difficult tests increases the willingness-to-pay of the more able senders, but reduces that of the less able senders. We show that the intermediary is not indifferent between different tests with the same informativeness. Notably, the intermediary designs the easiest test possible to convince the receiver of the sender's ability. ``Splitting a single test into many'' helps the intermediary extract a higher surplus from better senders by inducing more participation of the bad senders. The reason is two-fold. First, making the test easier induces senders of all types to take the test more often to prove their mettle. Second, the decline in prices (due to more tests) is less than the increase in the number of tests.
THE LANGUAGE OF CONFLICT
EC 228: Industrial Strategy 1
EC 326: Industrial Strategy 2
EC 314: Topics in Economic Theory
Dr. Robert Akerlof
Associate Professor of Economics
The University of Warwick
S0.57, Department of Economics
The University of Warwick
Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 (0) 747 337 2277
Follow me on Twitter: