UROP Openings

Have a UROP opening you would like to submit?

Please fill out the form.

Submit your UROP opening

Programming with Google Surveys for GDP-B Project adsa


IAP and Spring


15: Management

Faculty Supervisor:

Erik Brynjolfsson

Faculty email:


Apply by:

December 31, 2019



Project Description

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy at Sloan School of Mangement is currently developing a new well-being metric on the citizens’ well-being. Gross domestic product (GDP) and derivative metrics dominate discussions of economic growth and performance. While it is a good measure of production, GDP is a significantly flawed measure of well-being. For example, in the emerging digital economy, many digital goods such as Wikipedia and most smartphone applications are provided for free. The traditional national accounts are problematic as metrics of well-being when prices are zero and thus are absent or largely absent from GDP. To overcome flaws in GDP as a measure of well-being, our research team is trying to directly measure the changes in consumer surplus from massive online choice experiments. For example, we directly ask people, "What amount of money in dollars do you need in return for not eating any cereals at home for a year?" or "Are you willing to give up eating any cereals at home for a year in exchange of getting $100?" Currently, we plan to ask people's valuations of 249 items to figure out the citizens’ overall well-being. We will perform choice experiments through the online platform, Google Surveys (GS). GS allows us to run short one-question surveys inexpensively and quickly. The challenge our research team faces is about Programming with Google Surveys. More specifically, this project involves two main tasks: (1) A typical format of a survey question is, "Are you willing to give up xxx for a year in exchange of getting $yyy?" For xxx, we will use 249 items, and for yyy, we will use 11 price points. Consequently, there are 2,739 survey units. Out of them, we want one random unit will be asked to each participant. However, Google Surveys do not formally provide a randomization tool. We need a student who can provide us a randomization tool by using Google form API. (2) We want price points are set dynamically. For example, if one of our preset price points is $10, but if too many people are not willing to give up something at $10, We increase the price. However, Google Surveys do not officially allow such dynamic setting. We need a student who can provide us a randomization & a dynamic price setting tool by using Google form API. By participating in this project, a student can expect to gain more knowledge and experience in Google API, online experiments and the measurement of well-being. In addition, we expect our GDP-B project will have a significant impact on the world, so participating in this project will make a student resume better in his/her future.


(Minimum) Ability to do programming with Google form API. (Preferred) Prior experience with Google form API and JavaScript.