Monocentric Cyberspace: The Primary Market for Internet Domain Names

One of my research paper has been accepted for publication in the
Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics:


Cyberspace is no different from traditional cities, at least in economic terms. Urban economics governs the creation of ew space on the Internet and explains location choices and price gradients in virtual space. This study explores registration dynamics in the largest primary market for virtual space: Internet domain names. After developing a framework for domain registrations, it empirically tests whether domain registrations are constrained by the depletion of unregistered high quality domain names. Estimations based on registrations of COM domain names suggest that the number of domains expands substantially slower than the growth in overall demand for domain space. Supplying alternative domain extensions can relax the shortage in domains in the short term.

Read full paper: Monocentric Cyberspace (PDF)

A Hedonic Model for Words

I am pleased to announce that the paper “Pricing Quality Attributes of Internet Domain Names: A Hedonic Model for Words” has been accepted for the 2014 Americas Conference on Information Systems. It is joint work with Prof. Claudia Loebbecke from Cologne University.

The study develops a hedonic pricing model for domain names. The core findings are:

  • Domain prices depend on quality attributes and can be partially predicted based on factors like TLD, domain length, number of searches for keywords and many more. The model presented in the paper is far from being useful for practioners trying to value individual domains – it shows, however, that it is possible to build such models.
  • Domains that are sold at fixed prices are, on average, of lower quality than domains that are sold in negotiated deals. Sellers concentrate their attention on the high value targets. The study does not make any claims on which sales form provides better results for sellers.
  • It is difficult to predict which domains will be developed into full websites after a sale. Still, domains that are developed sell for higher prices than those that are not used or parked after the sale.
  • The price premium for domains that are later developed has the same magnitude for fixed price and negotiated deals. We find no evidence of sellers being able to discriminate between domain investors and domain end users.

The full paper can be downloaded here: Hedonic Prices For Words

Paper published: Real Option Value over a Housing Market Cycle

The Journal of Regional Science and Urban Economics accepted a paper for publication, in which John Clapp, Piet Eichholtz and I research the ups and downs of the West Berlin housing market.

The goal of the paper is to single out the value that buyers and sellers attribute to the real option to extend the size of an existing house. We find that the possibility to add more space carries substantial value. Furthermore, we see that this value is highest in times of rising house prices (e. g. 1990-1994 in West Berlin) and disappears when house prices fall. The real options embedded in existing properties therefore significantly contribute to house price volatility.

Get the full paper here.

Villa Freundschaft Berlin Grünewald villa 1902
High and low option value properties in Berlin

Paper out at JMCB: "House Prices and Fundamentals – 355 Years of Evidence"

The Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking accepted one of my papers (joint work with Brent Ambrose and Piet Eichholtz) for publication. We investigate the long run equilibrium of rents and house prices. Abstract below. The full manuscript is available for download at SSRN.

This paper examines the long run relation between prices and rents for houses in Amsterdam from 1650 through 2005. We first demonstrate that these series are cointegrated, a necessary condition for studying movements of the rent-price ratio. We then estimate the deviation of house prices from fundamentals and find that these deviations can be persistent and long-lasting. Lastly, we look at the feedback mechanisms between housing market fundamentals and prices, and find that market correction of the mispricing occurs mainly through prices not rents. This correction back to equilibrium, however, can take decades.

Full paper…