Topics

Racism

How we all became lab rats for American corporations and theoretical economists

How we all became lab rats for American corporations and theoretical economists

Steve Tadelis, an Israeli economist and UC Berkeley business school professor, explores economic transactions through abstract mathematical models. In 2011, after a decade and a half of theorizing, he took a leave from academia to spend some time at EBay, in the real business world.

What he found surprised him. A company replete with nerdy data crunchers was failing to take into account some basic economic principles. For instance, EBay employed a team of data scientists to optimize its spending on paid Google listings. They figured out how to bid just the right amount to guarantee EBay’s paid listings would show up at the top of Google search results....

69°