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Jonas Metzger

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Graduate Student Research Funding | 2020 - 2021

Friends Don't Lie: Allocating Digital Credit via Peer Information

work, Entrepreneurship, and finance

Policymakers often wish to target costly interventions (scholarships/financial aid/entrepreneurial loans) to the most suitable (hardworking/poor/trustworthy) individuals. However, suitability often remains unobserved and self-reports permit strategic misreporting. Recently, peer prediction mechanisms were successfully used to elicit this suitability from individuals’ peers. This required preventing coordination among peers, which was ensured via costly physical supervision. The present project presents the first mechanism which works without this restriction, enabling the cheap, automated digital elicitation of peer information for intervention targeting. The mechanism will be tested for its potential to cheaply target digital credit to promising entrepreneurs, which could help reduce capital market inefficiencies in developing economies.

Jonas Metzger, Department of Economics

Jonas Metzger

Jonas Metzger is a PhD student in economics and Gerhard Caspar Fellow at Stanford University. His research aims to expand the economic toolbox by connecting ideas from economics and computer science. Most of his work examines how techniques from machine learning can help researchers better understand the causal mechanisms affecting social welfare. He is also interested in exploring how algorithms informed by economic theory can be used to address real-world coordination failures, such as information asymmetries limiting capital access of entrepreneurs in developing economies. Prior to Stanford, Metzger received a master’s degree in econometrics and mathematical economics at the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Mannheim.

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