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In this talk, we explore the Keyword Recommender System (KRS) and consider its impact on sales volumes and market concentration. Unlike traditional, item-level recommenders, KRSs facilitate search query formation with potentially positive or negative consequences for search costs, resultant product fit, transaction volumes, and consumption diversity. We explore these effects via a randomized field experiment conducted with one of the largest mobile food-delivery platforms in Asia. The results of this experiment show that providing consumers with access to a KRS leads to a 1.2% rise in purchases over a 30-day period. Furthermore, access to a KRS leads to increased sales diversity, at both the individual and market levels.


Gordon Burtch is a Kelli Questrom Associate Professor in Management, Associate Professor of Information Systems, and Fellow of the Digital Business Institute, at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. His research focuses on the economic evaluation of information systems, and employs empirical analyses rooted in econometrics and field experimentation to identify and quantify the drivers of individual participation in online social contexts. Gordon’s work has been published in various leading journals, including Management Science, Information Systems Research, the Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. He is also a recipient of both the AIS Early Career Award (2017) and the INFORMS ISS Sandra A. Slaughter Early Career Award (2017).


Gordon’s research has been supported by more than $2 million in grants from various corporate, non-profit and government organizations, including the NSF, the 3M Foundation, Adobe, Facebook Research, and the European Commission. His work and opinions have also been cited by numerous outlets in the popular press, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Time Magazine, Forbes, and Wired.


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