Using field experiments, UChicago Economics' John List and Steve Levitt discovered something unusual about gamers' purchasing patterns: discounts tied to buying large quantities of virtual goods have little impact on profitability and do not increase the number of customers making purchases. According to Steve Levitt, "I think there is a lot to gain from partnerships between cutting edge firms and academic researchers...[M]any firms are now doing randomized experiments, but mostly testing incremental changes. This project was an example of using experimental methods to test a much more radical shift in strategy." Read full story »
Department of Economics Chair John List once again has been selected as one of the Non-Profit Times' Power and Influence Top 50 Innovators, for the broad impact of his research on the sector over the past year and for "mastering the balance between sustainability and change." List’s "field study of philanthropic behavior is catching the eyes of academics and practitioners," according to NPT vice president and editorial director Paul Clolery, while the "depth of [his] research and writing has created a buzz particularly regarding high capacity donors." Prof. List will receive the honor in Washington, D.C., this September during the NPT's annual Power & Influence Top 50 Gala at The National Press Club. Read full story »
"This position gives me a unique chance to learn about the thing that fascinates me most - producing knowledge that is useful in the sense that it yields benefits on the scale of billions of people," writes Paul Romer, a University of Chicago alumnus (Mathematics BA'77, Economics PhD'83) recently named the World Bank's new Chief Economist. Romer is currently a Professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, and heads their Urbanization Institute. In the late 1980s, Romer was also a faculty member of the University of Chicago Economics Department. In a Wall Street Journal interview, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim praised Romer's "deep commitment to tackling poverty and inequality and finding innovative solutions" to global economic challenges. Romer will succeed Kaushik Basu as Chief Economist this fall. Read full story.