No doubt the job is generously remunerated, but for John List it has another appeal; for data geeks, car apps are like gold mines – in the US alone, before the pandemic, there were two million Uber drivers, making tens of millions of trips each week. John List has spent his career studying economic behaviour in the real world, so working with Uber “was a dream come true”. With this cornucopia of information, he could analyse all sorts of consumer preferences: what kinds of cars people like, how far they typically travelled, and at what times, how they responded to a change in the price of fares. He could also learn the best way to apologise.



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