Tri Hoang

PhD Candidate in Economics
University of Southern California - USC

Research Interests

Applied Microeconomics
Urban Economics, Digital Economy

Curriculum Vitae

For a complete PDF version, please click [here]

Research Interests

Urban economics, real estate and housing, digital economy, applied microeonomics


2019-2024    University of Southern California
       Ph.D., Economics (expected)
2015-2019    New York University
       B.A., Economics with honors
       B.S., Mathematics


Work in progress

Buy now with 1-Click: Spatial Impacts of E-commerce
[show abstract] [paper]
Over the past decade, e-commerce has significantly transformed how we access con- sumption: with just a few clicks, consumers in many urban areas can purchase and have their orders delivered to their doorsteps within a day or two, sometimes even within just a few hours, without having to visit the stores. How does this experience shape our cities and what are the welfare implications of e-commerce? I study this question in the context of the United States, exploiting the staggered rollout of Amazon fulfillment cen- ters across metropolitan areas as a proxy for local e-commerce expansion. I find that, in the years following e-commerce expansion, neighborhoods that were previously less accessible to retail amenities experience an increase in home values, rents, and service amenities. This effect is not driven by gentrification or sorting of residents into these neighborhoods, nor is it explained by the spillover impacts of increased employment due to large warehouse openings. Building upon the reduced-form evidence, I employ a quantitative spatial model to assess the welfare and distributional consequences of e-commerce. The analysis shows that FC entry reduces the cost of online shopping by 58% and lowers the local retail price index by 0.6 points. Taken together, my quan- tification estimates that the average renter gains $113 per month, while the average homeowner benefits twice as much at $200 per month from e-commerce, thanks to cap- ital gains. Residents in historically less accessible locations enjoy higher surplus than those in more accessible locations, and residents in larger cities see the highest welfare gains. This result suggests that while e-commerce expansion induces a decentralization effect within cities, it amplifies the agglomeration benefits across cities.

Do the poor get priced out of popular Airbnb communities?
[show abstract] [paper]
How does Airbnb, or short-term rentals in general, impact neighborhoods? Does Airbnb gentrify neighborhoods or does it simply displace local, particularly low-income, residents? While these questions have important implications for urban policies, there are surprisingly limited research done by economists to answer them. By exploiting shift-share IV estimation strategy and using LA County public school enrollment and publicly available data to proxy for neighborhood demographic composition and quality, I find evidence that an increase in Airbnb penetration would lead to displacement of low-income residents while there is little evidence of gentrification in the sense that Airbnb-penetrated neighborhoods become highly desirable and attract new high-income residents. I suggest that the underlying displacement mechanism is Airbnb-induced rent increase due to supply-inelastic housing units being reallocated from the long-term to short-term rental markets, which would likely hurt low-income residents the most. My estimates are robust to alternative specifications, including quasi-experimental designs exploiting timing and spatial variation in the implementation of home-sharing ordinances across LA County cities. This paper, to the best of my knowledge, is the first to provide evidence on the displacement impacts of short-term rentals.


I have served as Teaching Assistant for the following courses at USC

ECON-203    Principles of Microeconomics

ECON-318    Introduction to Econometrics   

ECON-603    PhD Microeconomic Theory

Several past students' comments — [show]

I just wanted to say thank you for a great semester! The TA sessions were helpful and overall I feel that I learned well in the class.

The most valuable aspect was being able to reach out for help.

The instruction and interactivity of the lessons really motivated me to do the work I was given.

I believe the practice problems we worked through in our discussion course were helpful in understanding the course material. Often times it is hard to understand the professor, Tri really helped me gain a more in depth understanding of the material.

Thank you for being my TA this semester. I could always tell you put a lot of effort into preparing for our discussions and appreciated that you would make them more interactive. Thanks again!

Very informative.

About Me

Thank you for visiting my website.

I am an applied economist in the making with research interests in urban economics, real estate and housing, as well as topics broadly in applied microeconomics. My ongoing research explores the impacts of the digital economy on cities, urban structures, and quality of life.

I am grateful to be advised by Professor Matthew E. Kahn. I am lucky to be inspired by the talents and kindness of many of my fellow USC PhD students.

I was born and grew up in Huế, Vietnam. Prior to coming to Los Angeles, I have also lived in New York, as well as Phuket, Thailand and Shanghai, China. During my free time, I enjoy hiking and making amateur music videos. I have a featured personal profile [here].

My first name Tri is pronouced similar to "tree." You may click [here] to hear my name.