Marshall Van Alstyne
|Marshall W. Van Alstyne|
Marshall Van Alstyne in the On Point studio. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
|Citizenship||United States of America|
MIT Sloan School of Management
|Doctoral students||Sinan Aral|
|Known for||Two-sided markets
Marshall W. Van Alstyne (born in 1962) is a professor at Boston University and research associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. His work focuses on the economics of information. Van Alstyne earned a B.A. in computer science from Yale University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in information systems from the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 1997 to 2004 he was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.
He has made substantial contributions to understanding information markets. With graduate students Loder and Wash, he was the first to prove that applying a signaling and screening mechanism to email spam can, in theory, create more value for consumers than a perfect filter (see also "attention economics"). With professor Geoffrey G Parker, he contributed to the founding literature on "two-sided networks," a refinement of network effects that explains how firms can profitably price information at zero. Subsidized pricing and two-sided network effects can cause markets to concentrate in the hands of a few firms. These properties inform both firms’ strategies and antitrust law.
He is a frequent invited conference keynote speaker, presenter, contributor and author who also holds patents on a means of preserving communications privacy and on preventing spam as follows: Methods and Systems for Enabling Analysis of Communication Content While Preserving Privacy, United States 7,503,070; Method for Managing a Whitelist, United States 7,890,338. His most recent blogs and research can be found on his Platform Economics and Strategy page. He is also the co-curator of the Annual Platform Strategy Summit held every summer at the MIT Media Labs.
Recent work with Sinan Aral has explored the question of which social network structures provide better access to novel information. In social networks, individuals might secure novel information by bridging two networks that are not otherwise linked. Information diversity provided by remote bridge ties, however, typically occurs at lower flow rates than among strong local ties. While information can be redundant in strong local ties, their flow rates can be so high that they provide more useful novelty. Aral and Van Alstyne termed the advantage of more diverse structure relative to the advantage of higher flow "the diversity-bandwidth tradeoff" and identified the factors causing access to favor one or the other.
Van Alstyne received an Excellence in Teaching Award (2015), Ph.D. Student Mentoring Award (2014), International Conference on Information Systems Best paper award (2006 and 1996), Broderick Award for Research Excellence (2006), Intel Young Investigator Award (2003), National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award (1999), Hugh Hampton Young Innovative research at MIT Award (1994), and William L. Stuart Award (1990) as a contributing founder of MIT $100K.
He is the son of constitutional law scholar William Van Alstyne. On September 7, 2010, he used the Heimlich maneuver to save the life of songwriter and gospel singer Ron Kenoly who was choking in a Washington, D.C. hotel.
For a full list see Scholar Citiations
- Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You G Parker, M Van Alstyne, S Chaudary, W.W.Norton & Company Ltd., March, 2016
- Why Not Immortality? M Van Alstyne, Communications of the ACM 56 (11), 29-31, (2013)
- Money Models for MOOCs, C Dellarocas, M Van Alstyne, Communications of the ACM 56 (8), 25-28, (2013)
- Information, Technology, and Information Worker Productivity S Aral, E Brynjolfsson, M Van Alstyne, Information Systems Research 23 (3-Part-2), 849-867, (2013)
- T. Eisenmann, G. Parker, and M. Van Alstyne (2011). Platform Envelopment Strategic Management Journal.
- S. Aral and M. Van Alstyne (2011) The Diversity-Bandwidth Tradeoff American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 117, No. 1, pp. 90-171
- The Social Efficiency of Fairness, G Clarkson, M Van Alstyne, Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference–Innovation and Economic Growth, 2009–11, (2011)
- How to Find Answers Within Your Company, H Benbya, A Van Alstyne, MIT Sloan Management Review 52 (2), 65-75 (2010)
- D. Lazer, S. Pentland, et al. (2009). Life in the Network: The Coming Age of Computational Social Science Science.
- Opening Platforms: How, When and Why? T Eisenmann, G Parker, M Van Alstyne,Platforms Markets & Innovation, 131-162(2009)
- T. Eisenmann, G. Parker, and M. Van Alstyne (2006).Strategies for Two-Sided Markets Harvard Business Review.
- T. Loder, M. Van Alstyne, and R. Wash (2006). An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication, Advances in Economic Analysis and Policy
- G. Parker and M. Van Alstyne (2005). Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design, Management Science, Vol. 51, No. 10.
- T. Loder, M. Van Alstyne, and R. Wash (2004). Information Asymmetry and Thwarting Spam, Social Science Research Network
- G. Parker and M. Van Alstyne (2000) Information Complements, Substitutes, and Strategic Product Design
- G. Parker and M. Van Alstyne (2000) Internetwork Externalities and Free Information Goods, ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce
- "MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: Marshall Van Alstyne". MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
-  Boston University School of Management Profile
-  An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication
-  Information Complements, Substitutes, and Strategic Product Design
-  The Diversity-Bandwidth Trade-off
-  Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards by State (FY 1999)