The Impact of Digital Intermediaries on Product Quality: Evidence from News and Ridesharing

What are the unforeseen effects of digital intermediaries?

In recent years, digital intermediaries have deeply impacted how we go about our daily lives. Affecting numerous industries across the board, digitization has changed our world, from the way we consume news to the methods of transportation we use.

Online marketplaces and platforms serve as intermediaries between consumers and the goods and services they consume. They also determine who supplies those goods and services. Today, intermediaries have changed the way that product and service quality are monitored and incentivized.

On September 26, Stanford professor Susan Athey will discuss the significance of intermediaries in this digital age, and the impact they have had, and continue to have, on our global economies. This talk addresses how intermediaries like Facebook and Uber have improved the quality of services available to consumers and whether such "disruption" has had unforeseen costs.

Presented by BMO Financial Group, the Simon Fraser University Department of Economics, the SFU Alumni Assocation, and SFU Public Square, this free lecture will start at 7 PM and will include a Q&A period, followed by a reception for all guests.




September 26, 2018 | 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Reception to follow

Doors open at 6:00 PM



Segal Graduate School of Business
500 Granville Street, Vancouver

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.



Dr. Susan Athey

Susan Athey is the Economics of Technology Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her PhD from Stanford, and she holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University. She previously taught at the economics departments at MIT, Stanford and Harvard. Her current research focuses on the economics of digitization, marketplace design, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning.  She has worked on several application areas, including timber auctions, internet search, online advertising, the news media, and virtual currency. As one of the first “tech economists,” she served as consulting chief economist for Microsoft Corporation for six years, and now serves on the boards of Expedia, Rover, and Ripple.  She also serves as a long-term advisor to the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, helping architect and implement their auction-based pricing system.