A new breed of economists, known as ‘techonomists’, are helping firms crack new markets. These individuals, often with doctorates in economics, are being lured away from academia and into tech firms, where they apply their comprehensive understanding of markets, pricing and game theory to the fast-paced world of technology.

These techonomists are tasked with solving complex problems, like how to price a ride on Uber or a slot on Google’s search page. They’re also helping firms understand the economics of network effects, where the value of a product to a user increases as more people use it.

The job of a techonomist is not just about crunching numbers. They also need to understand the nuances of human behaviour and how it impacts on demand and supply. For instance, they might study how people’s willingness to pay for a taxi ride changes depending on the weather.

Despite the apparent complexity, the work of techonomists is becoming increasingly important as tech firms look to expand and diversify. Techonomists are not just number-crunchers; they are the secret weapon of the tech world, helping firms navigate the often complex world of digital markets.

Go to source article: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21638152-new-breed-high-tech-economist-helping-firms-crack-new-markets-meet