Justin M. Rao

I am an Economic Researcher at Microsoft Research in our New York City lab, an interdisciplinary research combining social science with computational and theoretical methods. I came to Microsoft following a two year stint with Yahoo! Research in Silicon Valley. I completed my Ph.D. in economics in 2010 at UC San Diego under the capable guidance of Jim Andreoni. Before that I was younger.

Disclaimer The views expressed herein represent my own and not those of the Microsoft Corporation, however, Jennifer Chayes has committed to agree with at least 47%. An informative snapshot of the Microsoft org charg can be seen here.

Contact Information

Justin M. Rao
Microsoft Research

Areas of Research

Behavioral Economics, Business Economics, Economics of Digitization, Communication, Information and Inference, Digital Advertising, Personnel Economics, Medium Data

Working Papers and Paper Under Review

On the Near Impossibility of Measuring the Returns to Advertising joint with Randall A. Lewis. SSRN Version 12/12/13. (somewhat dated) slides available here (very dated) video available under Talk Videos.

Ideological Segregation and the Effects of Social Media on News Consumption Posted 12/3/13. joint with Seth Flaxman (CMU) and Sharad Goel (MSR).

Measuring the Effects of Advertising: The Digital Frontier joint with Randall Lewis and David Reiley. Forthcoming in the NBER's The Economics of Digitization Also NBER Working Paper 19520. Slides available here. SSRN copy of paper.

Tick-tock Shot Clock: Optimal Stopping in the NBA . Updated 12/3/13! Joint with Matt Goldman

Importing Preferences: Asymmeteric Mispercpetion of Risk by Experienced Agents Posted 4/11/13. joint with Matt Goldman.

How Pressure Impacts Performance and Can Confound Preference Inference joint with Matt Goldman.

The Economics of Faith: Using an Apocalyptic Prophecy to Elicit Religious Beliefs in the Field : joint with Ned Augenblick, Jesse Cunha and Ernesto Dal Bo. NBER Working Paper 18641 Slides available here

Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy and Charitable Giving: joint with James Andreoni and Hannah Trachtman. NBER Working Paper 17648 Video available under Talk Videos.

Experts' Perceptions of Autocorrelation: The Hot Hand Fallacy Among Professional Basketball Players

Forthcoming Papers

Published Papers

The Economics of Spam (with David Reiley). Journal of Economic Perspectives Volume 26, No. 3, Summer 2012.

Press coverage The Atlantic, The New Statesman, Wall Street Journal, American Public Media (Radio broadcast), Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Gizmodo

The Good News-Bad News Effect: Asymmetric Processing of Objective Information about Yourself (local copy) (joint with David Eil AEJ Microeconomics July 2011

The Power of Asking: How Communication Affects Selfishness, Empathy and Altruism (joint with James Andreoni Journal of Public EconomicsJune 2011 (local copy)

Press Coverage: Freakonomics, Vox, Wall Street Journal

Here, There and Everywhere: Correlated Online Behaviors Can Lead to Overestimates of the Effects of Advertising (local copy)  (joint with Randall Lewis and David Reiley). Proceedings of World Wide Web Conference 2011 Research Papers

The Impact of Spam Exposure on User Behavior (joint with Anirban Dasgupta, Kunal Punera and Xuanhui Wang) Proceedings of USENIX Security Conference 2012

Using Gaze Patterns to Measure and Detect Distraction-induced Struggles While Reading (local copy) (joint with Vidhya Navalpakkam and Malcolm Slaney) Proceedings of SIGCHI Conference 2011 Extended Abstracts

Sports Oriented Publications

Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance (joint with Matt Goldman ) Proceedings of MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2012 Video available under Talk Videos

Press Coverage Wall Street Journal (Weekend Edition 3/17/2012), Business Week, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine (Paper awared "ESPN Fan Choice" for best paper in the conference), Co-hosted ESPN "NBA Today" Podcast

Allocative and Dynamic Efficiency in NBA Decision Making (local copy) (joint with Matt Goldman) Proceedings of MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2011 This is a shortened version of ``Tick-tock Shot Clock".

Press Coverage: Wall Street Journal , ESPN>.com, Slate