Economics Bidhannagar College, University of Calcutta
Quantitative Economics Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
Economics of Information Systems
Social Value of Information Systems
Probal Mojumder is a fifth year PhD candidate of Information and Decision Sciences at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. He holds an interest towards research relating Internet platforms and social outcomes, and how mechanisms operating within internet platforms impact society and markets. He uses variety of quantitative methods including econometrics, randomized experiments, structural and analytical models, towards conducting research.
Before joining the PhD program, he was a research associate at the Indian School of Business. He received his master's degree from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and his bachelor's degree from Bidhannagar college, University of Calcutta.
"The Digital Sin City: An Empirical Study of Craigslist’s Impact on Prostitution Trends" (With Jason Chan and Anindya Ghose) Abstract - The Internet facilitates information flow between sex workers and buyers, making it easier to set up paid sexual transactions online. Despite the illegality of selling sexual services online, Section 230 of Communications Decency Act shields websites from liability for unlawful postings by third parties. Consequently, the websites like Craigslist have become a haven for prostitution-related ads. With increasing number of prostitution-related sites launched over time, it is imperative to understand the link between these sites and prostitution trends. Specifically, in this paper, we quantify the economic impact of Craigslist’s entry on prostitution incidence, and identify potential pathways in which the website affects the sex industry. Using a national panel data for 1,796 U.S. counties from 1999 to 2008, our results suggest that entry of Craigslist to a county is related to a 17.58 percent increase in prostitution cases. In addition, the analyses reveal that organized vice groups are involved with the prostitution operating on Craigslist besides independent sexual service providers. Further, website entry has a stronger impact in counties with no prior cases of prostitution, while having a moderate impact on locations with past history of prostitution. Also, we find that site entry leads to a spillover of prostitution incidence in neighboring locations without Craigslist. Further, we find that the observed increase in prostitution trends was also accompanied by heightened efficacy of policing efforts to make prostitution arrests as a result of Craigslist entry. Our results contribute broadly to the emerging literature on the societal challenges associated with online intermediaries and Internet penetration, and serve to provide guidelines for policy makers in regulating the sex industry in the Internet era.