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Economics of Digital Services

The Economics of Digital Services (EODS) is an initiative of the Center of Technology, Innovation & Competition (CTIC) and the Warren Center for Network & Data Sciences that promotes research on digital platforms with a focus on empirical studies. The initiative is possible through a major grant from Knight Foundation as part of its $50 million initiative to support scholarly inquiry and novel approaches that will strengthen our democracy as the digital age progresses.

The initiative supports new research on the impact of data, algorithms, and the economics of digital platforms to increase the understanding of market dynamics for online services and the business strategies that digital platforms are pursuing. The resulting research will contribute to deepening the foundation for the proper scope of antitrust enforcement and regulatory intervention.

In the inaugural phase, EODS funded nine research proposals. Authors presented their findings at the Inaugural Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium on September 10-11, 2021. For the second phase of the initiative, EODS awarded five grants in October 2021. The findings were presented at the Second Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium on September 9-10, 2022.  In the third phase, grant recipients were announced in November 2022. Their research findings were presented at the Third Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium on September 8, 2023.  

Research topics, authors, and links to full papers, blog articles, and symposia video playbacks for all three phases are listed below.

Inaugural Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium (September 10-11, 2021)

  • Blockchains, Smart Contracts and Connected Sensors: Substitutes or Complements?—Yannis Bakos and Hanna Halaburda, New York University
  • Do Search Engines Increase Concentration in Media Markets?—Joan Calzada, University of Barcelona; Nestor Duch, European Joint Research Center; and Ricard Gil, Queen’s University
  • Competition in Cloud Computing—Juan Camilo Castillo, University of Pennsylvania
  • The Effect of Ad-Blocking and Anti-Tracking on Consumer Behavior—Cristobal Cheyre, Cornell University; Li Jiang, The George Washington University; Alisa Frik, UC Berkeley; Florian Schaub, University of Michigan; and Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Information Frictions and Heterogeneity in Valuations of Personal Data—Avinash Collis, Alex Moehring, Ananya Sen, and Alessandro Acquisti
  • Data Neutrality and Market Competition—Hanming Fang, University of Pennsylvania, and Soo Jin Kim, ShanghaiTech University
  • Big Data Adoption and Employment in Small and Medium Enterprises—Ricard Gil, Queen’s University
  • ‘You Will’: A Macroeconomic Analysis of Digital Advertising—Jeremy Greenwood, University of Pennsylvania
  • The Value of Technology Releases in the Apple iOS App Ecosystem—Liad Wagman, Illinois Institute of Technology

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Second Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium (September 9-10, 2022)

  • All the Headlines that Are Fit to Change—Tin Cheuk Leung, Wake Forest University, and Koleman Strumpf, Wake Forest University
  • Algorithms in the Wild: Experimental Evidence from an Online Marketplace—Vito Stefano Bramante, University of Bologna; Emilio Calvano, University of Rome-Tor Vergata; Giacomo Calzolari, European University Institute; and Maximilian Schaefer, Yale University and University of Bologna
  • COPPAcalypse? The YouTube Settlement’s Impact on Kids Content Creation—Garrett Johnson, Boston University; Tesary Lin, Boston University; and James C. Cooper, George Mason University
  • The Role of Advertisers and Platforms in Monetizing Misinformation: Descriptive and Experimental Evidence—Wajeeha Ahmad, Stanford University; Ananya Sen, Carnegie Mellon University; Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford University; and Charles Eesley, Stanford University
  • The Value of Data Records—Simone Galperti, University of California San Diego; Aleksandr Levkun, University of California San Diego; and Jacopo Perego, Columbia University

Updated from 2021

  • Information Frictions and Heterogeneity in Valuations of Personal Data—by Avinash Collis, The University of Texas at Austin; Alex Moehring, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ananya Sen, Carnegie Mellon University; and Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University
  • A Field Experiment to Study the Effect of Ad-Blocking and Anti-Tracking on Consumer BehaviorCristobal Cheyre, Cornell University; Zijun Ding, Carnegie Mellon University; Li Jiang, The George Washington University; Florian Schnaub, University of Michigan; Jeremy Thomas, University of Michigan; and Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University

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Third Economics of Digital Services Research Symposium (September 8, 2023)

  • Learning from Viral Content—Krishna Dasaratha, Assistant Professor of Economics, Boston University, and Kevin He, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Self-Preferencing Across Markets—Muxin Li, Research Fellow, Economics Department, Università Bocconi, Milan
  • Buyer-Optimal Algorithmic Consumption—Shota Ichihashi, Assistant Professor of Economics, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, and Alex Smolin, Assistant Professor of Economics, Toulouse School of Economics, Toulouse, France
  • News Consumption, Multi-homing, and Advertising Strategies—Joan Calzada, Associate Professor of Economics, Universitat de Barcelona. Barcelona, and
    Ricard Gil, Associate Professor & Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Business Economics, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada

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Watch video playback