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David Holtz - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

David Holtz David Holtz

Assistant Professor | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Expert on the design of online marketplaces and platforms


Areas of Expertise (5)

Online Marketplaces & Platforms

Computational Social Science

Field Experiements

Causal Inference

Data Science


David Holtz is an assistant professor in the Management of Organizations (MORS) and Entrepreneurship and Innovation groups at the Haas School of Business. He earned his PhD at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in the Information Technology (IT) group. He also holds an MA in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in Physics from Princeton University.

Holtz studies the design of online marketplaces and platforms using large-scale online field experiments and novel digital trace data. His research agenda focuses on online trust and reputation system design, the business and societal impacts of personalized recommendations, and the design and analysis of field experiments in online marketplaces. His work has appeared in a number of journals and conferences, including The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, and has been covered by popular news outlets, such as MSNBC, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. Before returning to academia, Holtz spent time in the Bay Area working as a data scientist and product manager at a number of technology firms, including Airbnb (where he was one of the founding members of the company's algorithmic pricing team) and TrialPay (acquired by Visa). In carrying out his research agenda, he continues to work closely with many leading firms in the tech sector, including Airbnb, Facebook, Spotify, Microsoft, and Etsy.

Education (4)

MIT Sloan School of Management: PhD, Information Technology 2021

MIT Sloan Sloan School of Management: SM, Management Research 2018

The Johns Hopkins University: MA, Physics and Astronomy 2012

Princeton University: AB, Physics (and certificate in Theater and Dance) 2010

Honors & Awards (4)

Best Dissertation Award, Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems

"Essays on the Design of Online Marketplaces and Platforms" 2020

Boston University Center for Antiracist Research Grant

(with Sanaz Mobasseri, Zanele Munyikwa, and Janet Xu) 2020

Summer Institute in Computational Social Science, Russell Sage, & Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Grant

(with Lily Fesler, Sanaz Mobasseri, Zanele Munyikwa, and Janet Xu) 2018

Duwayne J. Peterson, Jr. Doctoral Fellowship, MIT Sloan School of Management

2015 - 2021

Selected External Service & Affiliations (1)

  • Digital Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (2021-2022)

Positions Held (2)

At Haas since 2021

July 2021 - present, Assistant Professor, Management of Organizations Group, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Non-Academic Experience

2020, PhD Research Intern, Microsoft Research 2019, PhD Research Intern, Spotify Tech Research 2016 & 2017, PhD Research Intern, Facebook Core Data Science 2014 - 2015, Data Scientist, Airbnb 2013, Data Science Engineer, Yub (acquired by Coupons.com) 2012 - 2013, Product Manager / Data Scientist, TrialPay (acquired by Visa)

Media Appearances (7)

Coronavirus threat rises across U.S.: ‘We just have to assume the monster is everywhere’

The Washington Post  online


A national strategy, whether advanced by the federal government or by the states working in tandem, will more effectively control viral spread than the current patchwork of state and local policies, according to a study from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The deadly cost of uncoordinated reopening of our states

The Hill  online


Today, our team in the Social Analytics Lab at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy released a comprehensive study of the cost of uncoordinated responses to COVID-19. Our models combined daily, county-level data on shelter-in-place policies with movement data from over 27 million mobile devices, social network connections among 220 million Facebook users, daily temperature and precipitation data from 62,000 weather stations and county-level census data on population demographics to estimate the geographic and social network spillovers created by regional policies across the United States.

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Study: There will be a "devastating cost of failure" if economic re-openings are not coordinated

TechRepublic  online


There is a devastating cost associated with the current chaotic and uncoordinated reopening of states and cities across the US and the globe after the COVID-19 shutdown because "pandemics are interdependent phenomena," a new study shows. "Viruses and people's adherence to the government policies designed to contain them spill over from region to region," according to the study by the Social Analytics Lab at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

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MIT Study shows 'devastating' cost of states reopening without coordination amid COVID-19

Yahoo! Money  online


As more states continue to reopen, people are questioning how the government will prevent a new spike in COVID-19 cases. Sinan Aral, David Austin Professor of Management at MIT and Author of “The Hype Machine” joins Yahoo Finance’s On The Move to discuss why states need to coordinate reopening amongst each other.

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MIT study: ‘Chaotic and uncoordinated’ reopening of states takes ‘devastating toll’

MSNBC  online


A new MIT study shows the cost of the uncoordinated responses to coronavirus. When state and local leaders decide to open up against CDC guidelines, that can have an impact far beyond the borders of their homes.

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Lack of coordination in reopenings could lead to more coronavirus spread, spillover between states

The Boston Globe  online


New research released Thursday from MIT found that, during the lockdown, people networking through mobile phones, video conferencing, and social media appeared to influence the travel behaviors and adherence to government restrictions of those in other states, even places far away.

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New MIT Study Shows The Cost Of The Patchwork Response To Coronavirus In The U.S.

WGBH  online


A new study from MIT suggests that having uncoordinated reopening strategies may cause regional problems. According to the study, different state policies can affect how other people in adjacent states act during the pandemic. Social media can work in the same way and “alter the perception of the effectiveness of local policies.” If one saw a post on Facebook from someone in a state that no longer is calling for social distancing, there is a greater chance they will no longer view their own states social distancing guidelines as essential.

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Working Papers (4)

Limiting Bias from Test-Control Interference in Online Marketplace Experiments

David Holtz, Sinan Aral 2020

Reducing Interference Bias in Online Marketplace Pricing Experiments

David Holtz, Ruben Lobel, Inessa Liskovich, Sinan Aral 2020

The Engagement-Diversity Connection: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Spotify

David Holtz, Ben Carterette, Praveen Chandar, Zahra Nazari, Henriette Cramer, Sinan Aral 2020

The Effects of Remote Work on Collaboration Among Information Workers

Longqi Yang, David Holtz, Sonia Jaffe, Siddharth Suri, Shilpi Sinha, Jeffrey Weston, Connor Joyce, Neha Shah, Kevin Sherman, CJ Lee, Brent Hecht, Jaime Teevan 2020

Selected Research Grants (2)

Summer Institute in Computational Social Science

Russell Sage, & Alfred P. Sloan Foundation $7,482

2018 (with Sanaz Mobasseri, Janet Xu, Lily Fesler and Zanele Munyikwa)

Boston University Center for Antiracist Research

Grant for research on technical phone screen interviews $68,000

2020 (with Sanaz Mobasseri, Janet Xu, and Zanele Munyikwa)

Selected Papers & Publications (3)

Interdependent Program Evaluation: Geographic and Social Spillovers in COVID-19 Closures and Reopenings in the U.S.

Science Advances

Michael Zhao, David Holtz, Sinan Aral


Reciprocity and Unveiling in Two-sided Reputation Systems: Evidence from an Experiment on Airbnb

Marketing Science

Andrey Fradkin, Elena Grewal, David Holtz


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Interdependence and the cost of uncoordinated responses to COVID-19

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

David Holtz, Michael Zhao, Seth G. Benzell, Cathy Y. Cao, M. Amin Rahimian, Jeremy Yang, Jennifer Allen, Avinash Collis, Alex Moehring, Tara Sowrirajan, Dipayan Ghosh, Yunhao Zhang, Paramveer S. Dhillon, Christos Nicolaides, Dean Eckles, Sinan Aral


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