More economists are getting jobs in Silicon Valley to mine insights from data sets that NYT calls a "Candy Store." Amazon currently has 34 job openings for economists, with top pay of $200k per year plus bonuses and options. Airbnb recently hired an economist away from Harvard Business School.
In addition to higher pay than they would receive in academic settings, Silicon Valley firms offer economists the opportunity to work with transactional and click data that are not ordinarily available for research. They can conduct experiments on questions dealing with pricing, promotions and workplace incentives.
At the same time more and more economists are keeping their academic positions and consulting for companies such as Microsoft. The likely result is economic research that is better executed and more meaningful for businesses.
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