Work in Progress

Choice, Welfare, and Market Design: An Empirical Investigation of Feeding America's Choice System [Updated Draft Coming Soon] [Job Market Version]

Abstract: Feeding America, an organisation responsible for feeding 130,000 Americans every day, distributes donated food among a network of participating food banks. Feeding America’s allocation mechanism, the ‘Choice System’, uses first-price auctions to allow food banks to signal which types of food they need from Feeding America. This provides food banks a large degree of choice over the types of food they receive. This paper examines the welfare and distributional consequences of enabling this choice. I apply a dynamic auction model to Choice System bidding data, estimating the distribution of food banks’ heterogeneous and time-varying needs. The central challenge is that I do not observe food banks’ inventories - a key determinant of bidding behaviour. I overcome this difficulty using variation in food banks' winnings (observed shifters of these unobserved states) to identify the model, which I then estimate using a Gibbs Sampler. I use these estimates to compare the Choice System to the previous allocation mechanism employed by Feeding America which gave food banks very limited choice. I find that the Choice System increased welfare by the equivalent of a 28.1% increase in the quantity of food being allocated. The majority of this welfare gain arises because the Choice System allocates food in batches, rather than sequentially.

Identification and Estimation of a Dynamic Multi-Object Auction Model [Draft]

Abstract: In this paper I develop an empirical model of bidding in repeated rounds of simultaneous first-price auctions. The model is motivated by the fact that auctions rarely take place in isolation; they are often repeated over time, and multiple heterogeneous lots are regularly auctioned simultaneously. Incorrect modelling of bidders as myopic or as having additive preferences over lots can lead to inaccurate counterfactuals and welfare conclusions. I prove non-parametric identification of primitives in this model, and introduce a computationally feasible procedure to estimate this type of game. I then apply my model to data on Michigan Department of Transportation highway procurement auctions. I investigate the extent of cost-synergies across lots and use counterfactual simulations to compare equilibrium efficiency when contracts are auctioned sequentially rather than simultaneously.

Work in Progress (Early Stage)


 Economics [coming soon]



"Acceptability of app-based contact tracing for COVID-19: Cross Country survey evidence", JMIR mHeath and uHealth (2020)

with Luke Milsom, Hannah Zillessen, Raffaele Blassone, Frederic Gerdon, Ruben Bach, Frauke Kreuter, Daniele Nosenzo, Séverine Toussaert, and  Johannes Abeler.

Replication Files