Every year, the world’s best universities send their most able Master’s and doctoral students to work on a case study as part of the Econometric Game. The 2021 competition took place online, on 8 and 9 April, with over 30 institutions taking part. The UNIL Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne) had the opportunity to take part in this year’s competition. Team members were Nikita Brunner, Maxime Phillot, Richard Schmidt and Jérémy Zuchuat.
The teams had two days to carry out a case study on the causal impact of Airbnb on the price of housing in Amsterdam. Using a database and other information, the team was able to deploy shift-share instruments methodology (based on the past popularity with tourists of different areas in the city), to show that the establishment of Airbnb rentals in Amsterdam has a significant impact on housing prices in the city: 1 additional Airbnb within a radius of 250m leads to a price increase of 5-12 euros per m2 in the same area. On the basis of their research paper, the jury selected the team as one of the ten finalists on the first day, allowing them to continue to the second day of the competition, investigating a data extension. This year Lund University won the competition.
Prof. Jean-Paul Renne, why did you decide to enter HEC Lausanne for the Econometric Game?
"This competition is a fantastic exercise for the students who take part in it. The level of the competition is extremely high, and I am delighted that our students succeeded in qualifying for the second stage. That in itself represented an excellent performance. In addition to econometric skills, the competition required the participants to demonstrate creativity and the ability to digest a large quantity of information in record time. Of course, the ability to work in a group was also key. The work done by our students, in just a few hours, was highly impressive."
Nikita Brunner, Maxime Phillot, Richard Schmidt and Jérémy Zuchuat, how do you feel about the competition?
"EG2021 was generally an extremely enriching experience, even though it was a disappointment that we were not able to go to Amsterdam to take part. The level of competition is high and the teams taking part need to be ingenious to stand out from the others. The case study was itself quite stressful: the eight-hour deadline to produce a first draft on the first day of the competition was extremely tight (our report went to the wire). On the second day, we were able to refine our first day’s results, to deliver a credible draft of an economics research paper for the final. In spite of the fierce competition the atmosphere was always very friendly, and we really appreciate the work done by the organisers to enable the 30 universities selected this year to participate in EG2021."
Even though the team did not take first place, the whole faculty congratulates our students on their excellent performance in the competition!