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Tech Economics Newsletter

What's new from economist Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D.
March 2019

Dear Friends,

I hope this note finds you well. After a long winter break, I'm here with an update from the world of tech, economics and data science. Here's what's on my mind:

How Connected Are We Socially? A nice new paper co-authored by Facebook economist Michael Bailey has an answer. The paper offers a powerful new data set of friendship connections at the U.S. country level -- an innovative way of helping broaden the reach of Facebook among researchers.

Who Needs Economists in Tech? Susan Athey and Michael Luca break down some of the reasons so many tech companies are hiring economist these days: mproving marketplace dynamics, unearthing causal links in data, or simply turning company data into a new asset that help informs media. 

All the Ways to Fail At Data Science: Here's a nice article from Rachel Thomas at with good advice about how to -- and how not to -- organize your company's data science team. She includes a list of common pitfalls that certainly square up with my own experience in tech. 

Machine Learning Gets Smart About Causality: There's an interesting new paper from Microsoft Research on dealing with a common issue in estimating individual treatment effects: Your model uses lots of features, but for many new people you want to make a prediction for, you don't have access to all the same features as your model. It's a really nice example from the fast-growing intersection of ML and causal inference.

New Stuff from Our Team: We've got four new studies I like a lot: How the federal government shutdown may be causing brain drain in federal agencies; why half of open jobs at big tech employers today are for non-tech roles; a deep dive on the labor market in the fast-growing cannabis industry; and a first look at what Gen Z workers are saying on Glassdoor today.

Finally, we have a fun new animated logo for our research team:

Thanks again for staying in touch -- I wish you a safe, happy and healthy spring.


Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2019 Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D., All rights reserved.

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