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Hal Varian on Taking the Academic Approach to Business (Ep. 69)

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Mercatus Center
Jun 19, 2019 · 39 min read

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TYLER COWEN: Today, I’m very happy to be here with Hal Varian, who is chief economist at Google and emeritus professor at Berkeley. Hal, welcome.

When I started out at the University of Michigan and wanted to furnish my first house, I would go to auctions. One of the rules of thumb that I developed was, you never go to the auction that has the best stuff because everybody’s there. You go to the auction that’s sort of second best because then you have a better chance of beating the dealer.

So there’s a lot of — I don’t know — common-sense sort of strategies that people use in this, and I think there are inefficiencies that could be exploited, at least at these small-scale auctions with nonprofessional buyers.

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Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages…

Mercatus Center

Written by

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

Mercatus Center

Written by

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

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