Matteo Benetton, Professor

Closed (1) Measuring market power in the cryptocurrency industry

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was invented back in 2009. Since then, the cryptocurrency market has seen huge growth and there are now more than 1500 different cryptocurrencies with a total market cap of $21 billion as of March 2017. Despite the rise of new cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin still has a market share of 50% and the largest three cryptocurrencies account for 70% of the market.

To what extent are cryptocurrencies different? What are the drivers of demand for cryptocurrencies? What are the sources of market power and volatility in the industry? What is the optimal number of cryptocurrencies in circulation?

To address these questions we plan to assemble a dataset with the universe of cryptocurrency prices and quantities traded since 2013. Frontier research in empirical finance exploits large datasets available in the financial sphere to estimate models that allow welfare analysis and policy evaluations.


The main tasks will be: 1) scrape a large amount of data on cryptocurrency prices and volumes from online sources (e.g. https://coinmarketcap.com and https://cryptocoincharts.info) and trading platforms (https://bitcoin.org/en/exchanges); 2) run some preliminary analysis on the newly created dataset to study patterns in prices and volumes across different cryptocurrencies.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Giovanni Compiani

Qualifications: Qualifications: - Data analysis using Stata, Matlab, R, or Python – Interest in Industrial Organization, Finance and Cryptocurrency a plus.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: https://sites.google.com/view/matteobenetton/home?authuser=0
Related website: https://sites.google.com/berkeley.edu/giovannicompiani/home?authuser=0

Closed (2) Is Facebook Really Free?

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

The handling of consumer data is increasingly at the center of the public debate. On the one hand, consumers benefit from using apps and services that leverage their private information. On the other hand, firms having access to huge amounts of personal data raises a wide range of privacy concerns.

More broadly, even though many services are nominally offered for free (e.g. Gmail or Facebook), consumers pay an implicit price by giving away their data at no cost. Do consumers get a fair deal in this economy? How does the value of the services offered by firms compare to the value of the information that consumers give away?

To address these questions, we have obtained access to data on several free mobile apps. For each app, we see the consumer information that the app has access to as well as how much money the app is making by selling advertising space. We plan to use this data to obtain estimates of the value of consumer information for firms.

The main tasks for this project will be: 1) help with data cleaning and organization; 2) run preliminary analyses on the data; 3) possibly collect more data by scraping webpages.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Giovanni Compiani

Qualifications: Qualifications: - Data analysis using Stata, Matlab, R, or Python – Interest in Economics or Data Science a plus.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: https://sites.google.com/view/matteobenetton/home?authuser=0
Related website: https://sites.google.com/berkeley.edu/giovannicompiani/home?authuser=0