Kevin Ducbao Tran

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) , the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) , and the Berlin School of Economics (BSE) interested in topics of Digital Economics and Behavioral IO (inconclusive list).

In fall 2019, I visited the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, under sponsorship of Steve Tadelis.

I am also affiliated with the Berlin Centre for Consumer Policies (BCCP).

I expect to defend my dissertation in summer 2020.

+49 30 89789 504



Tomaso Duso
DIW Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin

Hannes Ullrich
DIW Berlin and University of Copenhagen

Steve Tadelis
Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley

Georg Weizsäcker
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin




Do Laws Shape Attitudes? Evidence From Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies in Europe (European Economic Review, Vol. 124, May 2020)

(joint with Cevat G. Aksoy, Christopher S. Carpenter, and Ralph De Haas)

[CEPR Working Paper]

Understanding whether laws shape or simply reflect citizens’ attitudes is important but empirically difficult. We provide new evidence on this question by studying the relation between legal same-sex relationship recognition policies (SSRRPs) and attitudes toward sexual minorities in Europe. Using data from the European Social Surveys covering 2002-2016 and exploiting variation in the timing of SSRRPs across countries, we show that legal relationship recognition is associated with statistically significant improvements in attitudes toward sexual minorities. These effects are widespread across demographic groups but are consistently larger for more conservative groups in countries with less gender equality. Our results suggest that laws can exert a powerful influence in shaping societal attitudes.

Work in Progress

Partitioned Pricing and Consumer Welfare

In online commerce, obfuscation strategies by sellers are hypothesized to mislead consumers to their detriment and to the profit of sellers. One such obfuscation strategy is partitioned pricing in which the price is split into a base price and add-on fees. While empirical evidence suggests that partitioned pricing impacts consumer decisions through salience effects, its consumer welfare consequences are largely unexplored. Therefore, I provide a quantification of the welfare impact of the behavioral response to partitioned pricing. To do so, I derive a discrete choice model that jointly allows for differences in the reaction to marginal changes in add-on fees and the base price as well as a discontinuous effect of a zero fee. The model is based on a framework on limited attention and I estimate it using web scraped data of posted price transactions on eBay Germany. My results suggest under-reaction to marginal changes in the shipping fee, consistent with previous results in the literature. However, I also document a discontinuous positive effect of free shipping on consumer demand, which is novel to the literature. The combined impact of these effects on consumer welfare is less than six percent of consumer surplus. The welfare impact is attenuated because the maximum shipping fee on eBay is capped and the free shipping effect partly counteracts the under-reaction to shipping fees in expectation.

Airbnb and Rents: Evidence from Berlin

(joint with Tomaso Duso, Claus Michelsen, and Maximilian Schäfer)

We assess the causal impact of the short-term rental platform Airbnb on rents using policy changes aimed at regulating short-term rentals in Berlin, Germany. In the political debate about regulating Airbnb and similar platforms, proponents of regulation are often concerned about the platform's potential impact on the housing market through the displacement of long-term rentals. While several cities worldwide have already reacted to the rise of Airbnb with different policy interventions, causal evidence on the topic remains scarce. We use the introduction of regulation of Airbnb as well as an update to the law as instruments for the number of Airbnb listings. We show that both policy changes significantly reduced the number of entire homes listed on Airbnb in Berlin. We systematically select control variables from a rich set of variables using a double-Lasso estimator. Our results suggest that one additional nearby entire home listed on Airbnb increases net rents per square meter by five to nine cents on average.

Modeling Spatial Competition to Study the Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Sector

(joint with Maximilian Schäfer)

The role of gender in fairness rating and performance. Evidence from mixed- vs. same-gender competition

(joint with Felix Hagemeister and Marica Valente)

External Talks


Econometric Society - European Winter Meeting 2019

Session: Belief updating and information processing

December 17, at Erasmus University Rotterdam

The 17th Annual International Industrial Organization Conference (IIOC)

Session: Rising Stars: Estimation of Competition Models

April 5, Boston, MA

Digital Economy Workshop

March 29 at Católica Lisbon


Workshop on "Peer-to-Peer Markets: Airbnb and the Accommodation Industry"

December 12 at the University of Mannheim

BBE Workshop

September 11 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Annual Meeting of the Verein für Socialpolitik

September 2-5 at the University of Freiburg

20th Summer Workshop for Young Economists

July 2-5 at ZEW, Mannheim

23rd Spring Meeting of Young Economists

May 30 - June 1 at the University of the Balearic Islands

2nd Doctoral Workshop on The Economics of Digitization

May 4-5 at Telecom Paristech


PhD Seminar & Data Workshop

November 26 at Universität Zürich


Teaching Experience


DIW Graduate Center/BCCP Short Course on Web Scraping

Designed and taught jointly with Julian Harke
View on GitHub
DIW Berlin

2017, 2018

Preparatory Math Course (Ph.D. level)

Teaching Assistant in exercise sessions accompanying the lecture
DIW Berlin


Bachelorseminar Rechnungswesen (Bachelor's Thesis Seminar Accounting)

Supervised students in the seminar to prepare them for work on their Bachelor's thesis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

2010, 2012, 2013, 2014

Externes Rechnungswesen (Financial Accounting, undergraduate level)

Teaching Assistant in weekly exercise sessions accompanying the lecture
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Research Interests

Empirical IO, Behavioral Economics, Digital Economy


10/2015 - Present

Ph.D. candidate

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
Technische Universität Berlin (since October 2018)
Berlin School of Economics (since September 2019)

08/2019 - 11/2019

Research Visit

Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley

10/2012 - 03/2015

Master of Science in Economics and Management Science

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

10/2009 - 08/2012

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


07/2017 - Present

Research Associate

Firms and Markets Department, DIW Berlin

02/2017 - 08/2017

Research Assistant

To Özlem Bedre-Defolie, ESMT Berlin

09/2016 - 12/2016

Research Intern

Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London

05/2015 - 09/2015

Teaching Assistant

Institute of Accounting and Auditing, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

10/2010 - 03/2015

Student Assistant

Institute of Accounting and Auditing, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

04/2014 - 09/2014

Research Intern

Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Other Interests

Photography, Football, Bouldering, Longboarding, Playing the Piano

Last update: March 27, 2020