John J. Horton



I am an economist and the Richard S. Leghorn (1939) Career Development Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER. My research is primarily focused on issues in information systems, market design, labor economics and organizational economics, particularly in the context of online markets. I am also interested in the effects of AI on labor markets and the potential of AI to improve social science methodology. Twitter: @johnjhoron

Academic Employment

Associate Professor (with Tenure), MIT Sloan School of Management, 2023—Present

Richard S. Leghorn Career Development Associate Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2020—2023

Assistant Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, 2019—2020

Assistant Professor of Information Systems, Stern School of Business, New York University, 2013—2019


Automated social science: Language models as scientist and subject

(with Kehang Zhu and Benjamin Manning)

Large language models as economic agents: what can we learn from homo silicus?

The death of a technical skill

(with Prasanna Tambe)

Algorithmic writing assistance on jobseekers resumes increases hires

(with Emma Wiles and Zanele Munyikwa)

Price floors and employer preferences: evidence from a minimum wage experiment

Job-seekers send too many applications: experimental evidence and a partial solution

(with Shoshana Vasserman)

The tragedy of your upstairs neighbors

(with Apostolos Filippas)

Consumer demand with social influences: evidence from an e-commerce platform

(with Chiara Farronato and El Hadi Caoui)

(with Andrey Fradkin and Monica Bhole)

Labor allocation in paid crowdsourcing: experimental evidence on positioning, nudges and prices

(with Dana Chandler)

Covid-19 and remote work: an early look at us data

(with Adam Ozimek, Daniel Rock, Erik Brynjolfsson, Garima Sharma and Hong-Yi TuYe)

Buyer signaling improves matching: evidence from a field experiment

(with Philipp Kircher and Ramesh Johari)

Wielding peer effects in online production: evidence from a series of field experiments

(with Richard Zeckhauser)

The ruble collapse in an online marketplace: some lessons for market designers

The production and consumption of social media

(with Apostolos Filippas and Elliot Lipnowski)

Ride-sharing markets re-equilibrate

(with Dan Knoepfle and Jonathan Hall)

Steering in online markets: the role of platform incentives and credibility

(with Moshe Barach and Joseph Golden)

The future of crowd work

The effects of algorithmic labor market recommendations: evidence from a field experiment

Digital labor markets and global talent flows

(with Christopher Stanton and William Kerr)

The dot-guessing game: a ‘fruit fly’for human computation research

Head in the clouds: challenges and opportunities in crowdsourcing

Reputation inflation

(with Apostolos Filippas and Joseph Golden)

Labor economists get their microscope: big data and labor market analysis

(with Prasanna Tambe)

Online labor markets

The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market

(with David Rand and Richard Zeckhauser)

The labor economics of paid crowdsourcing

(with Lydia Chilton)

Designing incentives for inexpert raters

(with Daniel Chen and Aaron Shaw)

Buyer uncertainty about seller capacity: causes, consequences, and a partial solution

The effects of search advertising on competitors: an experiment before a merger

(with Joseph Golden)

Owning, using and renting: some simple economics of the sharing economy

(with Apostolos Filippas and Richard Zeckhauser)

Are online labor markets spot markets for tasks?

(with Daniel Chen)

The need for standardization in crowdsourcing

(with Panos Ipeirotis)

Task search in a human computation market

(with Lydia Chilton, Robert Miller and Shiri Azenkot)

The condition of the turking class: are online employers fair and honest?

How do employers use compensation history: evidence from a field experiment

(with Moshe Barach)


INFORMS ISS Cluster Best Paper Award, Runner-up (Production & Consumption of Social Media), 2022

Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Business Analytics, AI/ML “Rising Star” Award, 2021, 2021

ISS Sandra A. Slaughter Early Career Award, 2021, 2021

Experimental Economics, Editor’s Award Winner for 2011, 2011

Becker-Friedman Center on Price Theory, Summer Camp, University of Chicago, 2010, 2010

NSF-IGERT Multidisciplinary Fellowship in Inequality and Social Policy, 2008 - 2010, 2008

Institute for Humane Studies Graduate Fellowship, 2009, 2009

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 2008, 2008

Bronze Star Medal, 2004

Army Acheivement Medal (for budgeting & spreadsheet work), 2005

Army Commendation Medal, 2004

Combat Action Badge, 2004

Basic Parachutist Badge, 1999


[‘grant: Microsoft Research’, ‘year: 2023’]

[‘grant: Schwartzman College of Computing Grant - “Using AI Agents to Simulate Social Scenarios”’, ‘year: 2023’]

[‘grant: Upjohn Institute, Early Career Award Grant, 2016’, ‘year: 2016’]

[‘grant: Lab for Economic Applications and Policy, Harvard University, Research Grant, 2010’, ‘year: 2010’]

[‘grant: Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University, Travel Grant, 2010’, ‘year: 2010’]

[‘grant: Amazon Research Grant, Web Services, 2010’, ‘year: 2010’]

[‘grant: Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, Research Grant, 2009’, ‘year: 2009’]


ACM-EC 2024, 2024

NBER Summer Institute, Economics of IT and Digitization, 2024

Strategy Group, Harvard Business School , 2024

Paris Economics of Digitization seminar (remote), 2024

Stanford GSB - Marketing, 2024

Workshop on the Economics of Social Media, SSRC, 2023

NBER Summer Institute - Personnel Economics, 2023

NBER Summer Insitute - Industrial Organization & Digitzation, 2023

SERC Panel at MIT, 2023

Paris Economics of Digitization seminar (invited but declined for health reasons), 2023

Walmart Economics Team, 2023

LinkedIn - Tech Talk, 2023

Yale Economics - Labor and Public Seminar (invited), 2023

Microsoft Research New England - EconCS Seminar, 2023

University of Nottingham - Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, 2023

Tsinghua-HKUST DEEP Seminar, 2023

Hong Kong University, 2023

Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (2 papers), 2022

Singapore Management University, 2022

Toronto Rotman Strategy Seminar, 2022

Boston University - Information Systems, 2022

Purdue, 2022

UC Irvine, 2022

Keynote Address, 2021 Conference on AI, ML and Business Analytics, 2021

GMU Economics Seminar, 2021

UMD Economics Seminar, 2021

Council of Economic Advisors, 2021

University of Bocconi, 2021

Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, 2021

Mannheim Unversity, 2021

Columbia Business School, Management Dept., 2021

CESifo panel, “Firm-Academic Research Collaborations in Economics”, 2021

Keynote Address, 3rd Crowdworking Symposium, 2021

Digital Economics Seminar (video), 2021

Toulouse Seminar in Platform Economics, 2021

NBER Labor Studies Meeting, 2021

MIT Org econ Seminar (remote), 2020

MIT Sloan, TIES Group (remote), 2020

University of Washington - Olin School of Business (remote), 2020

CMU Heinz School, 2020

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, 2019

Stanford University Economics Dept. Labor Seminar, 2019

Temple University, Big Data & Mobile Analytics Workshop, 2018

Keynote speaker, IZA Workshop on ‘Matching Workers and Jobs Online’, 2018

Society of Labor Economists Annual Meeting (Toronto), 2018

Kellogg School at Northwestern (invited seminar; declined for health reasons (broken foot)), 2018

Booth School, University of Chicago (invited seminar; declined for scheduling reasons), 2018

Princeton CITP (invited seminar), 2018

Columbia Business School (invited seminar; declined - health), 2018

17th ZEW Conference on Economics of Information & Communications Technology, 2018

NBER Summer Institute (3 papers - 2 at IT & Digitization, 1 at Labor Studies), 2018

MIT Economics Dept (invited seminar), 2018

Stanford SIEPR (invited seminar; declined due to scheduling reasons), 2018

AEA Annual Meeting (two papers), 2018

Workshop at MIT on AI, Cities and the Future of Work, 2017

“Field Days” at University of Copenhagen, 2017

Advances in Field Experiments, University of Chicago, 2017

Platform Strategy at BU, 2017

15th ZEW Conference on Economics of Information & Communications Technology, 2017

NBER Summer Institute (Economics of Digitization - 2 papers), 2017

Federal Communications Commission (turned down), 2017

ASU Information Systems Workshop, 2017

Temple University, 2017

HBS Entrepreneurial Management Unit, 2017

AEA Annual Meeting, “Inequality in the Evolving Labor Market”, 2017

Speaker, Collective Intelligence, NYU Stern, 2016

Sharing Economy Symposium, Keynote Speaker, University of Minnesota, 2016

SOLE/EALE Conference, Seattle, 2016

Creativity and Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI), NYU Stern, 2016

The On-Demand Economy Conference, MIT Sloan, 2016

Frontiers in Digital Data, HBS, 2016

AEA Annual Meeting, Organizer: “The Economics of Peer-to-Peer Markets”, 2016

WIN Conference (conference presentation), 2015

INFORMS, “Empirical Market Design”, 2015

NBER Productivity & Innovation, 2015

CMU, Tepper School of Business, Business and Technology, Bus. & Society, 2015

eBay Research, 2015

Facebook Data Science, 2015

Uber Technologies, 2015

NBER Summer Institute, Economics of IT and Digitization, 2015

ACM-Electronic Commerce, Portland, 2015

SOLE/EALE Conference, Montreal, 2015

13th ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information & Communications Technology, 2015

Chapman University, ESI/IFREE Lecture, 2015

CODE (Conference on Digital Experimentation), 2015

Microsoft Research, NYC, 2015

Texas A&M - MEER Conference, 2015

Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computing, 2015

Texas A&M University, Economics Dept, Economic Theory & Experimentation Seminar, 2015

UMN, Carlson School of Management, Work & Organizations Dept. Seminar, 2015

AEA Annual Meeting, “Empirical Market Design”, 2015

MIT Sloan, Operations Management Seminar, 2014

NBER Summer Institute 2014, Economics of IT and Digitization, 2014

University of Chicago, Harris School, Public Policy and Economics Seminar, 2014

University of Nuremburg, 2014

Xiamen University, International Symposium on Contemporary Labor Economics, 2013

INSEAD, Technology and Operations Management Seminar, 2013

MIT Roundtable on the Digital Economy, 2013

SOLE/EALE, Society of Labor Economics Annual Meeting, 2013

The Bernard L. Schwartz Globalization Initiative at SAIS Distinguished Lecture Series, Johns Hopkins University, November 2012, 2012

Experimental Economics Lunch Seminar, University of Chicago, 2011

Networked Business Seminar, Harvard Business School, 2011

Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 24th Annual Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Invited Speaker on “Social Science and the Wisdom of Crowds,” December 2010, 2010

The 6th Workshop on Internet and Network Economics (WINE 2010), Stanford University, 2010

Christakis Lab Group Seminar Series, Harvard Medical School, November 2010, 2010

CrowdConf 2010, San Francisco, CA, October 2010, 2010

Advances with Field Experiments, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania,, 2010

Crowdsourcing Applications Seminar, University of Massachusetts, 2010

European Association of Labour Economists (EALE) / Society of Labor Economists (SOLE) 3rd International Conference, University College London, June 2010, 2010

ACM-Conference on Electronic Commerce (ACM-EC), Cambridge, MA, 2010

EconCS Seminar, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2010

SJDM Annual Conference, Boston, MA, 2009


PhD, Harvard University

BS, United States Military Academy at West Point