May 22 • 49M

Michael Schwarz, Chief Economist at Microsoft

On the importance of economics for tech industry and the ongoing relevance of theory more generally

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Mixtape: the Podcasts are interviews conducted between Scott Cunningham (Professor of Economics at Baylor University) and mostly economists, their collaborators, and people in adjacent fields.
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In this week’s episode of Mixtape: the Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Michael Schwarz. Michael leads economics at Microsoft as Corporate Vice President and Chief Economist. A micro theorist by training and orientation, Michael is a former professor at Harvard in the early 2000s who left academia to become one of several early pioneers in corporate tech. He is someone who I see as emblematic of a larger trend in the labor market for PhD economists of top talent who left academia and took their highly valued talents into the tech industry to work on a variety of real world topics related to market design, industrial organization, data science and causal inference. In this interview, we discuss some of his ground breaking work in auctions and application and the ongoing relevance and power of economic theory for understanding our social and corporate world. You can find this interview at other platforms like Apple, Spotify, Youtube as well as a link to a public RSS feed.