Ozge Demirci wins the CESifo Distinguished Affiliate AwardThursday 9 Mar 2023
The Department congratulates recent PhD graduate Ozge Demirci, who has won the CESifo Distinguished Affiliate Award for her research in the economics of digitisation.
Ozge Demirci has been awarded the Distinguished CESifo Affiliate AwardLink opens in a new window in the area of the economics of digitisation by the CESifo Research Network. The award is intended for promising young economists and is granted for the best paper presented at the CESifo Area Conferences. An award committee gives the award to a young economist on the basis of the scientific originality, policy relevance, and quality of exposition in their research.
Ozge's research is in applied microeconomics with a focus on the economics of digitisation and discrimination. Some of her recent research investigates the impacts of regulations targeting algorithmic bias. She analyzes if anti-discriminatory policies that ban using sensitive information such as race or gender in algorithmic processes are effective or whether algorithms adjust to circumvent the regulations.
In her award-winning paper "Can Gender-Blind Algorithmic Pricing Eliminate the Gender Gap?" Dr Demirci uses a natural experiment to investigate the impact of gender-blind algorithmic pricing on consumers and firms. She focuses on a recent policy regulation that prohibits using gender information in pricing algorithms for automobile insurance in the US. Her research investigates how this policy affects the insurance premiums paid by male and female consumers and the pricing algorithms companies use.
Ozge's findings show that after the policy was implemented, algorithms started to price features correlated with the riskiest gender group, young males, significantly more. For instance, drivers using specific car models associated with young males started paying more after the ban.
Dr Demirci's findings illustrate the limitations of anti-discrimination policies that impose group-blind pricing and have implications for the design of fairer regulations for algorithms.
Dr Demirci's winning paper will appear in the CESifo Working Paper SeriesLink opens in a new window.