An economics paper coauthored by Professor Randy Nelson and two students and published in the Eastern Economic Journal in 2007 won the 2007-08 Eckstein Prize for best article in the EEJ, the journal announced Sept. 25. “An Analysis of Pricing Strategy and Price Dispersion on the Internet” was written by Nelson, Richard Cohen ’00, and Frederik Rasmussen ’03 and published in 2007. The prize, which includes a plaque and a cash award to be presented in Feb. 2010 in Philadelphia, is given only every other year.
The paper originated as Cohen’s senior honors thesis. Nelson hired Rasmussen later as a research assistant to help collect additional data needed. All of his students who assist in his research are made coauthors, Nelson said, noting that this was the seventh such coauthored paper published. The analysis examined whether the ease of obtaining competitive pricing data on the Internet caused a leveling of online prices for a given product and whether online prices converge over time. (Neither proved to be the case.)