Kevin Ducbao Tran

I am a Lecturer in Economics at the School of Economics at the University of Bristol interested in topics of Digital Economics and Empirical IO (inconclusive list).

I am the Unit Director of Industrial Economics which is a final-year undergraduate optional unit at Bristol.
I am the Unit Director of Markets and Competition which is an optional module in the MSc Economics, Finance and Management at Bristol.
I am the Programme Director of the MSc in Economics with Data Science at Bristol.


Upcoming Talks

Workshop on the Economics of Platforms and Recommender Systems

June 20, 2024, 18:00-19:00
Télécom Paris


Digital Economics Workshop
Session: Pricing Strategies
July 2, 2024, 9:00-10:30

Research ↓




Airbnb and Rental Markets: Evidence from Berlin

Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 106, 104007

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

[Older versions: DIW Discussion Paper 1890, Bristol Discussion Paper 21/746, CEPR DP16150, CESifo Working Paper No. 9089]

Non-academic publication (German): DIW Wochenbericht 7 / 2021; Press coverage (German): taz, heise online, Spiegel, n-tv; Podcast (German): Man lernt nie aus; TV (German): mex - das Marktmagazin (hr), Live nach Neun (ARD) (starts at minute 12:14)

We exploit the differential responses of Airbnb hosts to two distinct policy interventions in Berlin to shed light on the optimal design of policies targeting short-term rental platforms to mitigate rental market inflation. The first intervention, which affected commercial listings, significantly impacted long-term rental markets, unlike the second intervention, which mainly affected non-commercial listings. Leveraging these policy variations, we estimate the marginal impact of Airbnb on rental supply and rents. Each additional commercial Airbnb listing displaces 0.23 to 0.37 rental units and increases rent per square meter by 1.3 to 2.4 percent. This underscores the importance of targeting commercial listings when regulating short-term rental markets.


The Assessment of Substitution Through Event Studies—An Application to Supply-Side Substitution in Berlin’s Rental Market

Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Vol. 13(7), pages 509–515

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


Do Laws Shape Attitudes? Evidence From Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies in Europe

European Economic Review, Vol. 124, 103399

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

[CEPR DP14309]

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.

Working Papers

Partitioned Pricing and Consumer Welfare

[DIW Discussion Paper 1888]

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 affects 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, Hotels, and Localized Competition

(joint with Maximilian Schäfer)

[DIW Discussion Paper 1889]

The rise of online platforms has disrupted numerous traditional industries. A prime example is the short-term accommodation platform Airbnb and how it affects the hotel industry. On the one hand, consumers can profit from Airbnb due to an increased number of choices and lower prices. On the other hand, critics of the platform argue that it allows professional hosts to operate de facto hotels while being subject to much laxer regulation. Understanding the nature of competition between Airbnb and hotels as well as quantifying consumer welfare gains from Airbnb is important to inform the debate on necessary platform regulation. In this paper, we analyze competition between hotels and Airbnb listings as well as the effect of Airbnb on consumer welfare. For this purpose, we use granular daily-level data from Paris for the year 2017. We estimate a nested logit model of demand that allows for consumer segmentation along accommodation types and the different districts within the city. We extend prior research by accounting for the localized nature of competition within districts of the city. Our results suggest that demand is segmented by district as well as accommodation type. Based on the parameter estimates, we calibrate a supply-side model to assess how Airbnb affects hotel revenues and consumer welfare. Our simulations imply that Airbnb increases average consumer surplus by 4.3 million euro per night and reduces average hotel revenues by 1.8 million euro. Furthermore, we find that 28 percent of Airbnb travelers would choose hotels if Airbnb did not exist.

Value for Money and Selection: How Pricing Affects Airbnb Ratings

(joint with Christoph Carnehl, Maximilian Schäfer, and André Stenzel)

We study Airbnb hosts' strategic pricing incentives when prices affect ratings. Two channels determine the price-rating interaction: higher prices reduce the value for money, worsening ratings, but increase the taste-based valuation of travelers, improving ratings. The price further determines the frequency of rating updates through its effect on demand. Our empirical results show a dominant value-for-money effect and that hosts lower their prices to surpass rating thresholds. We provide evidence that hosts benefit from low entry prices: offering a median entry discount of seven percent improves medium-run monthly revenues by three percent.


Teaching Experience

2021 - Present

ECON30076 Industrial Economics (Final-year UG)

Unit Director from 2024
University of Bristol

2021 - Present

ECONM0006 Markets and Competition (MSc)

[formerly EFIMM0107 Competitive Strategy]
Unit Director from 2022
University of Bristol

2019, 2022

Short Course on Web Scraping

Initially designed and taught jointly with Julian Harke
View on GitHub
DIW Berlin


Introduction to Web Scraping (Short course)

ifo Institute

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, Behavioural Economics, Digital Economy

Academic Positions

2020 - Present

Lecturer in Economics

School of Economics, University of Bristol



Ph.D. in Economics (Dr. rer. oec.)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) joint with Technische Universität Berlin and Berlin School of Economics


Research Visit

Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley


Master of Science in Economics and Management Science

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Last update: May 28, 2024