By Henry DeVries
“If you torture the data long enough it will confess to anything,” says Varian. “I am not sure we want to waterboard our data, but at least we do want to understand it.”
Varian started at Google in May 2002 as a consultant and has been involved in many aspects of the company, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy.
He also holds academic appointments at the University of California, Berkeley in three departments: business, economics, and information.
He received his bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1969 and his master’s degree in mathematics and Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1973. He has also taught at MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan and other universities around the world.
Varian is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Co-Editor of the American Economic Review from 1987-1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.
He has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics and information economics. He is the author of two major economics textbooks which have been translated into 22 languages. He is the co-author of a bestselling book on business strategy, “Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy” and wrote a monthly column for the New York Times from 2000 to 2007.
Future 2010 Economics Roundtable speakers include SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter on April 23 and Acting Dean of the UC San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Takeo Hoshi on July 20.