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dc.contributor.advisorAthey, Susan
dc.contributor.advisorLewis, Gregory
dc.contributor.authorWang, Albert Zhao
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-25T01:17:06Z
dc.date.issued2013-09-24
dc.date.submitted2012
dc.identifier.citationWang, Albert Zhao. 2012. Essays on Platforms: Asymmetric Information, Search, and Policy. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.en_US
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:10937en
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11107812
dc.description.abstractThe three essays of this thesis cover two sets of topics: search in auction platforms in the first two papers, and political campaigning in the last. In platform settings, search cost reductions are often regarded as beneficial because they improve match quality. But is this in fact true? And if it is true in an aggregate sense, what are the consequences to individual platform participants? Do individual buyers and sellers win or lose? The first paper develops a novel model of search in platforms and applies it to auction platforms to test the popular hypothesis that lower search costs are always beneficial to sellers. Under certain assumptions, we find that while lower search costs is welfare improving, its distributional consequences are less predictable. In general, lower search costs intesify buyer-side competition. On the one hand, this tends to improve seller revenues due to better matches; on the other hand, this may also thin out markets for certain sellers, since lower search costs make it easier for buyers to search out of certain markets. Generally, some sellers gain and some lose; most surprisingly, however, we find that overall seller revenue can decrease with lower search costs. Our second paper extends the model to endogenize buyer participation - so some buyers may leave the platform completely - and considers optimal platform search policy in such settings. Under stricter assumptions, we find that a platform that taxes the seller side generally benefits from lower search costs; a platform that charges buyers, however, may maximize search costs, since the gains from easier search are unevenly distributed among buyers, and may be inefficiently extracted with a fee. The final essay provides a novel model of political campaigning as argumentation, which brings together two different strands of the campaign spending literature: spending has direct effects on electoral outcomes, but also provide a "signal" of candidate quality. The model parsimoniously resolves many pre-existing campaign spending "paradoxes" while delivering new results on the effects and desirability of spending caps.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipEconomicsen_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dash.licenseLAA
dc.subjectEconomic theoryen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Scienceen_US
dc.subjectAsymmetric Informationen_US
dc.subjectCampaign Spendingen_US
dc.subjectEconomicsen_US
dc.subjectPlatformsen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Economyen_US
dc.subjectSearchen_US
dc.titleEssays on Platforms: Asymmetric Information, Search, and Policyen_US
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen_US
dash.depositing.authorWang, Albert Zhao
dc.date.available2013-09-25T01:17:06Z
thesis.degree.date2012en_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEconomicsen_US
thesis.degree.grantorHarvard Universityen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAthey, Susanen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLewis, Gregoryen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFrieden, Jeffryen_US
dash.contributor.affiliatedWang, Albert


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