This is a photo of Anh Nguyen.

Thi Mai Anh Nguyen

Job Market Candidate

Research Fields

Industrial Organization, Economic Theory, Organizational Economics

Job market paper

Long-Term Relationships and the Spot Market: Evidence from US Trucking (with Adam Harris)

Long-term informal relationships play an important role in the economy, capitalizing on match-specific efficiency gains and mitigating incentive problems. However, the prevalence of long-term relationships can also lead to thinner, less efficient spot markets. We develop an empirical framework to quantify the market-level tradeoff between long-term relationships and the spot market. We apply this framework to an economically important setting—the US truckload freight industry—exploiting detailed transaction-level data for estimation. At the relationship level, we find that long-term relationships have large intrinsic benefits over spot transactions. At the market level, we find a strong link between the thickness and efficiency of the spot market. Overall, the current institution performs fairly well against our first-best benchmarks, achieving 44% of the relationship-level first-best surplus and even more of the market-level first-best surplus. The findings motivate two counterfactuals: (i) a centralized spot market for optimal spot market efficiency and (ii) index pricing for optimal gains from individual long-term relationships. The former results in substantial welfare loss, and the latter leads to welfare gains during periods of high demand.

Other working papers

Long-Term Relationships in the US Truckload Freight Industry (with Adam Harris) 

Revise and Resubmit at AEJ: Microeconomics

This paper provides evidence on relational contracting in the US truckload freight industry. In this setting, shippers and carriers engage in repeated interactions under contracts that fix prices but leave scope for inefficient opportunism. We describe empirically the strategies of shippers and the responses of carriers. We show that shippers use the threat of relationship termination to deter carriers from short-term opportunism. Carriers respond to the resultant dynamic incentives, behaving more cooperatively when their potential future rents are higher. While shippers and carriers often interact on multiple lanes, we show that separate relational contracts appear to govern transactions on each lane.

Empiricist Learning Rules on Social Networks: Convergence and Quality of Information Aggregation

This paper proposes a novel learning model on social networks that captures settings where individuals interact frequently on multiple, relatively short-lived topics. In this model, each period features a new draw of nature and multiple rounds in which information arrives, gets aggregated, and diffuses through network links. The repetitive nature of interactions across periods allows for a separation between learning about the environment and aggregating information about the current state. A class of empiricist learning rules achieve convergence of learning on all networks. On clique trees, these learning rules further achieve strong efficiency in information aggregation. The paper also presents a converse to the positive efficiency result and identifies distinct reasons why efficiency is hard to obtain in general circumstances, even though convergence of learning holds generally.

Work in progress

Product Variety and Search Frictions in Online Markets (with Jose Ignacio Cuesta, Adam Rosenberg and Tobias Salz)

Relaxing the Liquidity Constraints of Bidders: An Experiment on Dealer Loans (with Jose Ignacio Cuesta and Tobias Salz)

Interoperability and Competition in Electronic Health Records (with Rebekah Dix and Kelsey Moran)

Fellowships and Awards

Jerry A. Hausman Graduate Dissertation Fellowship
George and Obie Shultz Fund
2017 - 2018
Emma Krob Castle Graduate Fellowship