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What do economists do at Google (their responsibilities as Google’s employees)?

Answer by Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google:

I’m the Chief Economist at Google, so I believe I am uniquely qualified to answer this question.

I joined the company in 2002 and initially worked on the economics of the AdWords auction.  Since then, I have worked on many other auction design problems including the AdSense auction, the IPO auction, ad exchange auctions, spectrum auctions, and top-level domain auctions.  You can see some of this work Research papers of Hal R. Varian.

I have also worked on query and revenue forecasting, advertiser behavior, ad effectiveness, and a number of other econometrics projects.  We have hundreds of statisticians, econometricians, data scientists, and other quantitative analysts at Google and I try to coordinate communications among these groups via periodic get togethers and newsletters.  In addition, I provide analysis and input on a number of policy issues, including antitrust, patents, copyright, and innovation policy. My team of economists, statisticians, and data engineers that works in all the areas described above, as well as several other areas.

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