Joe Edelman


My Research

I study the economy as a thing with sensors and actuators. The principal sensor, currently, is the consumer's decision to buy or not buy a thing at a certain price. This is a crude way of detecting what people truly value. The principal actuator, currently, is the firm, which is a heavyweight way to organize. To upgrade the sensors, I study big data ways of detecting our true preferences (using locations, transactions, and by instrumenting and modifying mobile menus). To upgrade the actuators, I focus on creative tools for lightweight coordination. My work on detecting true preferences intersects with the foundations of microeconomics and the theory of choice. I often structure my experiments as group games.