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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Jafar Olimov – AEDE Job Market Candidate

Jafar Olimov wants to know more about how you are using online marketplaces to sell your goods. While working on his PhD at the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) at Ohio State, Olimov is focusing on seller behavior in online markets as part of his dissertation research. This field has little research analysis conducted to-date, allowing Olimov to break new ground in connecting the gap in empirical and theoretical literature on the behavior of sellers in virtual worlds.

Working with his advisor, Dr. Brian Roe, Olimov has studied both the sale of used tractors in eBay auctions, as well as the sale of pigs online in comparison to similar sales conducted at local fairs. In particular, when looking at eBay auctions, Olimov attempts to answer the question of why online sellers use both secret and public reserve prices in this marketplace. Additionally, he examines why so many items are not sold, but are relisted by sellers on eBay. His analysis leads to the conclusion that due to low listing costs in online markets, many sellers use electronic platforms, such as eBay, not only to sell their items but to also learn about buyer demand. He theorizes that many sellers engage in price discovery for singular expensive items by running multiple unsuccessful auctions online. In October 2012, Olimov was invited to present his research to the Ohio State community at the AEDE Fall Semester Seminar Series.

Olimov, who is originally from Tajikistan, completed an undergraduate degree in Economics at Denison University, as well as a master’s degree in Economics at Ohio State. In addition to English, Olimov is fluent in Russian and has skills in Farsi, Turkish and Arabic. He has research interests not only in the field of online markets, but also in the fields of incomplete contracts and the structural estimation of dynamic games.

In 2006 and early 2007, Olimov worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Tajikistan to research the informal economy in the country. In his research, he looked at the size of unreported taxes, wages, and non-recorded payments in the form of goods, such as agricultural products, occurring throughout the country. He found that the share of the informal economy that was not being reported was equivalent to the amount of 60.93 percent of the country’s reported GDP. Based on this research he formulated recommendations for policymakers in the country on how to better account for the informal GDP contributions to the Tajikistan economy to successfully capture and report economic activity.

Olimov has greatly enjoyed his time studying at AEDE and, in particular, he has found the flexibility of the coursework in AEDE’s PhD program to be of high value. He cites being able to take courses in other academic departments in the University to be extremely helpful in achieving his academic goals, as he’s been able to build his own degree by supplementing AEDE courses with courses from other academic departments in areas of particular interest to him. This access to a wide variety of resources, from courses, instructors, contacts, and research support, has made Olimov’s experience at Ohio State one of a kind.

To learn more about Jafar Olimov, please see his job market profile.