Georgios Zervas

Photo credit Kalman Zabarsky

Georgios Zervas

I am an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Boston University School of Management, and a Junior Faculty Fellow of the Hariri Institute.

Previously, I was a Simons Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University working with Joan Feigenbaum, and an Affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard University. I completed my PhD in 2011 in Computer Science at Boston University under the supervision of John Byers and Michael Mitzenmacher (from Harvard). I am broadly interested in problems lying in the intersection of marketing, computer science, and economics, and a lot of my work has focused on large scale empirical studies of internet markets.

Contact: To contact me the old-fashioned way prepend the suffix of the URL above to @bu.edu, or, you can follow me on Twitter.

Professional activities: I am on the Program Committee of EC 2014, WSDM 2014, and WWW 2014. I was on the PC of WWW 2013, WSDM 2013, and EC 2012.

Selected papers

  1. The Daily Deals Marketplace: Empirical Observations and Managerial Implications [SIGecom]
    John Byers, Michael Mitzenmacher, Georgios Zervas
    ACM SIGecom Exchanges, Vol. 11, No. 2, December 2012

  2. The Groupon Effect on Yelp Ratings: A Root Cause Analysis [PDF]
    John Byers, Michael Mitzenmacher, Georgios Zervas
    In Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) 2012

    Also, presented at the 8th Symposium on Statistical Challenges in Electronic Commerce Research (SCECR) 2012

    Media coverage
    NPR's Morning Edition featured a piece on our work on Friday, July 6. The Huffington Post also covered our work, and so did the Freakonomics blog. The discussion on Hacker News is interesting.

  3. Daily Deals: Prediction, Social Diffusion, and Reputational Ramifications [arXiv] [Dataset]
    John Byers, Michael Mitzenmacher, Georgios Zervas
    In Proceedings of the 5th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2012

    Media coverage
    Our work has received wide media coverage on various newspapers, magazines, and blogs among which The New York Times, Time magazine, BU Today, the MIT Technology Review, The Atlantic, The Wall St. Journal, The CS Monitor, and more.

    John Byers was invited to discuss our work on WBUR 90.9, and Bloomberg TV.

    A little help for Yelp: During our work we discovered, and helped Yelp fix a privacy leak. See the blog post by Yelp's engineering team which explains in detail what happened.

  4. Information Asymmetries in Pay-Per-Bid Auctions: How Swoopo Makes Bank
    John Byers, Michael Mitzenmacher, Georgios Zervas
    In Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC) 2010
    [PDF (Shorter EC version)] [PDF (Extended arXiv version)] [Dataset]

  5. Adaptive Weighing Designs for Keyword Value Computation [PDF]
    John Byers, Michael Mitzenmacher, Georgios Zervas
    In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2010

Complete list of publications →

Work in progress

  1. The Rise of the Sharing Economy: Estimating the Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Industry [PDF] [SSRN]
    Georgios Zervas, Davide Proserpio, John W. Byers

    Media coverage
    Airbnb, Uber, Lyft: de l'économie collaborative au business du partage
    Le nouvel Observateur, Aug. 16, 2014

    Airbnb versus hotels: Room for all, for now
    The Economist, Apr. 24, 2014

    Sharing Is Caring, Unless It Costs You Your Job
    New York Times Bits Blog, Feb. 5, 2014

    Why It's So Hard to Figure Out the Sharing Economy's Winners and Losers
    The Atlantic Cities, Feb. 10, 2014

  2. Fake it Till You Make it: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud [PDF] [SSRN]
    Michael Luca, Georgios Zervas

    Media coverage
    Underdog Businesses Are More Likely to Post Fake Yelp Reviews
    HBR Blog Network, Aug. 30, 2013

    HBS Professors Investigate Faked Positive Yelp Reviews
    The Harvard Crimson, Sept. 18, 2013

    Yelp deems 20% of user reviews ‘suspicious’
    Marketwatch, Sept. 24, 2013

    Yelp admits a quarter of submitted reviews could be fake
    BBC News, Sept. 27, 2013

    Fake reviews on Yelp?! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back
    Yelp Blog, Sept. 27, 2013

    Keeping crowdsourcing honest: can we trust the reviews?
    BBC News, Feb. 18, 2014

    How To Fix Our Broken Online Customer Review System
    Forbes, May 25, 2014

    Court Rules for Yelp in Suit Over Online Ratings
    FOX Business, Sep. 4, 2014

    Give This Column Five Stars on Yelp, Please
    Bloomberg View, Sep. 4, 2014

  3. The Evolving Quality of Groupon Deals [PDF]
    Georgios Zervas

Brief bio

2013 to date
Assistant Professor of Marketing, Boston University School of Management

2011—2013
Simons Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University
Affiliate at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS), Harvard University

2006—2012
Research Scientist, CogoLabs Inc.

2005—2011
PhD, Computer Science, Boston University.
Thesis: Data-Driven Analysis of Electronic Commerce Systems

2000—2005
I ran Perlfect Solutions providing consulting and programming services

1999—2000
London College of Communication, University of the Arts
MA Interactive Media
Thesis: Automatic Website Generation Using Genetic Algorithms

1998—1999
Imperial College, University of London
MSc Advanced Computing, Thesis: Advanced Clustering Algorithms, supervised by Stefan Rueger

1995—1998
Imperial College, University of London
BEng Computing
Thesis: Object Linking and Embedding for Linux, supervised by Steffen van Bakel