Smithpage Contact Information:
Heinz College
Carnegie Mellon University
4800 Forbes Avenue, HBH 2204
Pittsburgh PA, 15213
Voice: 412-268-5978
Fax: 412-268-5338
Office: Hamburg Hall 2204
Assistant: Kristen Yeager (Cubicle Outside HBH 2204 | 412-268-7148)
SSRN Author Page



  • September-18: Liron Sivan, Rahul Telang, and my article studying the impact of pirate links in search engine results was accepted for publication at Management Science. Our research shows that moving pirate links from the first page of search results to the second page causes a significant reduction in piracy and a significant increase in legal purchases. We also find that this change occurs even among consumers who initially express a desire to pirate content.
  • September-18: I have a keynote presentation at the Fifth Korea Cultural Contents Forum on “Big Data and the Future of Entertainment.”
  • September-18:  My paper with Hal Varian and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz titled “Super Returns to Super Bowl Ads?” was awarded the Dick Wittink Award for the best paper published in Quantitative Marketing and Economics in 2017.
  • August-18:  Michael Smith was quoted in an NPR story about the future of the online streaming industry.
  • June-18: I presented results on the effectiveness of anti-piracy measures in the UK at the 2018 Music Industry Research Association conference.
  • June-18:  I was featured in a Bloomberg article about the Department of Justice’s role in future merger enforcements within media.
  • June-18:  I was a panelist for “Trust in Storytelling: Can Content Creators Ever Win?” at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Entertainment Technology @ 2018 Conference in Sunnyvale, California.
  • June-18:  Rahul Telang and my opinion piece, “Godspeed to AT&T-Time Warner” was featured in The Wall Street Journal.
  • April-18:  My paper with Jeffrey Hu and Hailiang Chen is now available in Management Science articles in advance. In the paper we analyze the impact of delayed Kindle releases on hardcover book sales and overall book sales. We find that delaying Kindle availability has very little impact of hardcover sales and significantly hurts Kindle sales.
  • March-18:  I was quoted in a Deadline story about the AT&T-Time Warner merger case.
  • March-18:  I was quoted in a Bloomberg Law story about the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
  • March-18:  Rahul Telang and I published an opinion piece in Fortune arguing that the Department of Justice’s decision to block the AT&T Time Warner merger will hurt consumers in the long run.
  • March-18:  I gave a talk at the Loyola Law School on “The Economics of Intellectual Property and Consumer Behavior”.
  • February-18:  I gave a talk at the NBER Digitization Tutorial on “The Economics of Entertainment Digitization”.
  • January-18:  Rahul Telang and my article, “Data Can Enhance Creative Projects — Just Look at Netflix” was featured on Harvard Business Review.
  • December-17:  Brett Danaher, Rahul Telang, and my research on how piracy can hurt consumers was featured on Technology Policy Institute’s blog.  The correlations we found are consistent with the hypothesis that piracy adversely affects both demand and supply, and has caused investment in culturally important films to drop.
  • November-17:  I was featured in an article by Billboard about the concern of artists limiting legal access to albums and how it may result in increased piracy from customers.
  • November-17: My paper with Pedro Ferreira and Miguel Godinho de Matos is now available on Management Science articles in advance. In the paper we conduct a real-world experiment with a major telecommunications provider to analyze the effect of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services on digital piracy consumption. Our results show that “using legal SVoD to curtail piracy will require, at the minimum, offering content much earlier and at much lower prices than those currently offered in the marketplace, changes that are likely to reduce industry revenue and that may damage overall incentives to produce new content while, at the same time, curbing only a small share of piracy.”
  • November-17:  I was interviewed by Radio Canada about the effects of the digital sales tax in Pennsylvania.
  • November 17- I was awarded the 2018 Carol and Bruce Mallen Award for Lifetime Published Scholarly Contributions in the Economics of the Motion Pictures Industry.
  • October-17:  I was interviewed on the Michael S. Robinson show about how big data is impacting the entertainment industry.
  • October-17: My article with Brett Danaher was published in this month’s George Mason University Law Review. In the article we discuss the relevant economic theory and available empirical evidence on whether piracy hurts consumers by reducing incentives to creators. We conclude that “although there is not strong evidence of a decrease in the total number of products being made, there is evidence consistent with more subtle negative impacts [of piracy] on the creative process.”
  • September-17:  I was featured in an article by Variety on how to quantify the value of winning an Emmy and the effects the win could have for creators.