Bruno Salcedo has joined the Department of Economics as an Affiliated Researcher, and will be named an Assistant Professor in January 2018. Salcedo recently completed his PhD at Pennsylvania State University, and is currently completing a post-doc at Cornell University.
Salcedo’s research is focused on econometrics, industrial/organizational economics, and game theory.
In particular, Salcedo uses game theory models to understand how new technologies change how markets operate.
His latest paper looks at how pricing algorithms used to price and sell things online may be used by companies to collude and artificially keep prices high. While it is illegal to firms to coordinate to set prices, Salcedo theorized that if companies use an algorithm to set prices, a competing company could determine how the algorithm works, and create corresponding code that reacts to price changes to create favourable prices, which would likely result in artificially higher prices.
Salcedo’s next paper will be focused on the use of fake news and suggests that the low entry cost of online information markets has been highly detrimental, both for people looking for information, and for institutions that waste large amounts of resources trying to control the narrative.
Salcedo’s earliest academic interests were focused on physics, and his interest in economics theory connects to that, he said.
“Economists are trying to model and understand human behaviour in a way physicists want to do with the world,” said Salcedo. “People are more interesting than particles; they are a more complicated problem.”
Salcedo is excited to join the department, “It’s a super friendly and collegiate department. They are doing lots of interesting work, and are very active,” he said.