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 fourth 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, the 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 1,791 U.S. counties from 1999 to 2008, our results suggest that entry of Craigslist to a county is related to 7.57 percent increase in prostitution cases. In addition, the analyses reveal that site entry generates a new market beyond that operated by organized vice industry, which is largely made up of sex workers in the 41-50 age group. Further, website entry has a stronger impact in counties with no prior cases of prostitution. Also, we find that site entry leads to a spillover of prostitution incidence in neighboring locations without Craigslist. Finally, we find that the observed increase in prostitution trends is likely to reflect an actual increase in participation in the prostitution market, and not an artifact of heightened efficacy of policing efforts as a result of Craigslist entry. Our results contributes broadly to the emerging literature on the societal challenges associated with online intermediaries and Internet penetration, and serve to provide guidelines for social and legal policies for regulating the sex industry in the Internet era.