Stefan Weiergraeber

Stefan Weiergraeber

Assistant Professor of Economics

Indiana University

Welcome to my webpage! I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Indiana University. My research interests center on empirical industrial organization. You can download my CV here.

Research Interests

  • Industrial Organization
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Applied Microeconomics

Education

  • Ph.D. in Economics, 2015

    University of Mannheim, Germany

  • M.A. in Economics, 2010

    University of Mannheim, Germany

Working Papers

Estimation of Industry Conduct in Differentiated Products Markets

We estimate the evolution of competition in the ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal industry. To separately identify detailed patterns of industry conduct from unobserved marginal cost shocks, we construct novel instruments that interact data on rival firms’ promotional activities with measures of products’ relative isolation in the characteristics space. We find strong evidence for partial price coordination among cereal manufacturers in the beginning of our sample. Manufacturers’ price coordination intensifies following a horizontal merger in 1993, with median manufacturer margins increasing from 20.8 to 38.1 percent over those implied by multiproduct Bertrand-Nash pricing, but eventually fully breaks down to multiproduct Bertrand-Nash pricing.

Alert the Inert! Switching Costs and Limited Awareness in Retail Electricity Markets

We quantify how switching costs and limited awareness affect consumer inertia in liberalized retail electricity markets by developing and estimating a structural demand model using a novel data set on electricity contract choices in Belgium. Our data allow us to disentangle different sources of inertia by using a rich combination of macromoments and micromoments. Our estimates indicate that consumers perceive electricity contracts as differentiated and that both limited awareness and switching costs significantly hinder efficient contract choices. Our counterfactual simulations reveal the potential for substantial welfare gains from retail competition compared to a market with a regulated monopolist.

Network Effects and Switching Costs in the US Wireless Industry

I estimate a model of dynamic consumer behavior to disentangle switching costs and network effects in the US wireless industry. A detailed panel on market shares and churn rates, disaggregated by demographic consumer types and local markets, allows me to separately identify preference heterogeneity, switching costs, and a localized direct network effect. My switching cost estimates range from USD 32 to USD 140. The willingness to pay for a 15%-point increase in a carrier’s market share is on average USD 7 per month. Finally, I show that ignoring either one of the effects results in substantial errors when simulating counterfactuals.

Bidder Asymmetries in Procurement Auctions: Efficiency vs. Information

We develop a structural empirical model of procurement auctions with private and common value components and bidder asymmetries in both dimensions. While each asymmetry can explain the dominance of a firm, they have opposite welfare implications. We propose a novel empirical strategy to quantify the two asymmetries using detailed contract-level data on the German market for railway passenger services. Our results indicate that the incumbent is slightly more cost-efficient and has substantially more information about future ticket revenues than its competitors. If bidders’ common value asymmetry was eliminated, the median probability of selecting the efficient firm would increase by 61%-points.

Teaching

@ Indiana University

  • E392: Topics in Big Data
  • E471: Econometric Theory and Practice I
  • E673: Microeconometrics
  • E724: Econometrics Workshop

@ University of Mannheim

  • Mathematical Econometrics
  • Principles of Economics
  • Microeconomics A

All lecture material is available on Canvas.

Office Hours

In Fall 2020, my office hours are Mondays, 11:00am to 12:30pm. You can book an appointment here. Please indicate whether you prefer a face-to-face or a virtual meeting.

Reference Letters

If you would like me to write a reference letter, please come to my office hours at least four weeks prior to your first application deadline. In order to assess whether I will be able to write an informative letter I need the following documents.

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • (Unofficial) Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • List of places you are applying to

Applied Micro Brownbag

Please see the below calendar for the schedule of the Applied Micro Brownbag seminar. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send me an email.

Contact