Working Papers
  • The Impact of Dating Apps on Young Adults: Evidence From Tinder (with Alexey Makarin and Heyu Xiong) [SSRN Link], submitted

    Online dating apps have become a central part of the dating market over the past decade, yet their broader effects remain unclear. We analyze the impact of Tinder, the pioneer and market leader in the dating app space, on a segment of the population that was among the earliest adopters of this technology: college students. For identification, we rely on the fact that Tinder's initial marketing strategy centered on Greek organizations (fraternities and sororities) within college campuses. Using a comprehensive survey containing more than 1.1 million responses, we estimate a difference-in-differences model comparing student outcomes before and after Tinder's full-scale launch and across students' membership in Greek organizations. We show that Tinder's introduction led to a sharp, persistent increase in the frequency of sexual activity, but with no corresponding impact on the likelihood of relationship formation. Inequality in dating outcomes increased among male students but not among female students. Further, we observe a rise in the incidences of sexual assaults and sexually transmitted diseases. However, despite these changes, Tinder's introduction did not worsen students' mental health and may have even led to improvements for female students. These results suggest that the transformation of dating due to dating apps has far-reaching and nuanced effects on young adults.

Work in Progress
  • Endogenous Local Government Formation and Nation Building, slides available upon request
  • This paper provides new evidence on the drivers of local government amalgamation and its effects on public goods provision, economic activity, and national identity. I focus on an administrative reform in Ukraine between 2015-2020, during which smaller local councils (LCs) had the opportunity to voluntarily amalgamate in order to keep a substantially larger portion of their tax revenues and gain greater autonomy over the local administration. By investigating the determinants of the willingness to amalgamate, I show that some of the pre-reform characteristics, such as tax revenues, the share of native Russian speakers, and political preferences, were not substantial predictors of the amalgamation. I estimate a staggered difference-in-differences model and show that the reform led to a cumulative increase in nightlight intensity per capita over the years following exposure. Employing the same staggered design with previously unused data on standardized college entrance exam results, I find no clear effect on Ukrainian and math scores. I further demonstrate that the reform positively impacted district level personal income tax collection. Finally, using a nationally representative repeated cross-sectional survey, I document the greater self-identification as Ukrainian as opposed to Russian in rural areas with a higher share of people living in the new local units, hromadas.

  • Catastrophes, Social Ties and Voting Behavior: Evidence from Turkey
  • The Economic and Political Impacts of Language Planning: Evidence from Quebec’s Bill 96 (with Manfredi Aliberti), slides available upon request

Berkeren Buyukeren

PhD Candidate in Economics
Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) and LUISS (Rome Economics Doctorate)

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