Friday, November 28, 2008

Economics 2.0

"For decades, many of the brightest graduates in economics sought their fortune in finance. In coming years, they will seek it in marketing, as the Internet gives all companies the information-rich environment once available only in financial markets."

That’s the prediction of Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, and economist at the University of California at Berkeley. Varian discusses why marketing is the new finance in this Wall Street Journal article from last year.

Below, Varian gives a lecture on the "Economics of Internet Search", from this year's Calit2-sponsored series, "Behavioral, Social, and Computer Sciences Seminar Series" - Friday, May 23, 2008. Following on from the last post about 'The Weather and Work', apparently "it's good for Google if the weather is bad, but not too bad..."

6 comments:

Martin Ryan said...

So now we know what the Yiddish for match-maker is...

While we're on the topic of internet advertising, we mentioned on the blog in June that Google is rolling out a tool designed to show how people browsing the web respond to online advertising. By comparing the behaviour of people who are exposed to particular adverts with those who are not, the company hopes to give advertisers feedback about which campaigns are are successful.

This may be one of the first instances where advertising has been evaluated in the spirit of randomised controlled trials. I'm not aware of the literature on advertising evalauation, but I suspect that its very hard to design a (realistic) experiment when most advertising hits the entire population. However, the targeting capabilties of web advertising mean that treatment and control groups can be established far easier. In saying all of that, we stil have to remember that web advertising is a different beast to other forms of commercial campaign.

http://gearybehaviourcenter.blogspot.com/2008/06/do-ads-work.html

Martin Ryan said...

/do-ads-work.html

Martin Ryan said...

Thanks to Stephen Kinsella for also pointing out this interesting interview with Varian on the Freakonomics Blog:

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/hal-varian-answers-your-questions/

Martin Ryan said...

/hal-varian-answers-your-questions/

Martin Ryan said...

An interesting quote from the Varian Q&A with the Freakonomics Blog:

Q: Your job sounds extremely interesting. What jobs would you recommend to a young person with an interest, and maybe a bachelors degree, in economics?

A: If you are looking for a career where your services will be in high demand, you should find something where you provide a scarce, complementary service to something that is getting ubiquitous and cheap. So what’s getting ubiquitous and cheap? Data. And what is complementary to data? Analysis. So my recommendation is to take lots of courses about how to manipulate and analyze data: databases, machine learning, econometrics, statistics, visualization, and so on.

Liam Delaney said...

we should include that in our MA brochure - "looking for a qualification that gives you scarce skills that are complementary to something ubiquitous and cheap?? Then look no further"