Interview with Susan Athey, Professor at Stanford, President of AEA
In this interview, I talk with the esteemed economist, Susan Athey, a professor of economics at Stanford University and a recently elected President of the American Economics Association. She was one of a handful of micro theorist pioneers, like Hal Varian to Google and Preston McAfee to Yahoo, who in the early 2000s traveled from academia to work for large technology firms to work on market design elements, such as the design of auctions, that would enhance the productivity of the firms themselves. Dr. Athey did this first as a consultant at Microsoft, then as its first chief economist, then later on the board of more than a half dozen firms. She has since returned to her alma mater, Stanford University, where among her many activities she established a lab on social impact, and has written countless influential articles drawing on the strengths of machine learning methods and approaches at the service of causal inference. Just as Dixit predicted that she would win the John Bates Clark award, I’ll state the obvious that it will not be the last major Prize she wins. I hope you enjoy!