Supported Research

Fields of Interest



The Value of Rapid Delivery in Online Retailing

Marshall Fisher, UPS Professor, Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions

This research studies how faster delivery in the online channel affects sales within and across channels in omnichannel retailing. The authors leverage a quasi-experiment involving the opening of a new distribution center by a U.S. apparel retailer, which resulted in unannounced faster deliveries to western U.S. states through its online channel. Using a difference-in-differences approach, the authors show that online store sales increased, on average, by 1.45% per business-day reduction in delivery time, from a baseline of seven business days. The authors also find a positive spillover effect to the retailer’s offline stores. These effects increase gradually in the short-to-medium run as the result of higher order count.



Service Competition and Product Quality in the U.S. Automobile Industry

Morris A. Cohen, Panasonic Professor Emeritus of Manufacturing & Logistics, Professor Emeritus of Operations, Information and Decisions

We study the impact of service attributes (warranty length, after-sales service quality) on consumer demand in the U.S. automobile industry, examining the presence of complementarities/substitution between service attributes and product quality. Our results thus imply that, in our period of analysis, warranties played a more important role for American firms than for foreign firms, consistent with the fact that American manufacturers exhibited lower product quality and higher service quality than non-American firms.



To Diversify or Not? Multi-Platform Social Media Strategy and E-Commerce Performance

Lynn Wu, Associate Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions

As the number of social platforms has grown dramatically in the past two decades, companies face an increasing number of options to choose among for their social media resource allocation. While many industry practitioners suggest that companies should pay more attention to emerging social platforms and diversify their social media presence, no one has empirically and rigorously analyzed the underlying mechanism why one strategy dominates the other, and academic research in this domain remains sparse. There is an inherent trade-off between “Concentration” (i.e., concentrate engagements and efforts on one or only a few platforms) vs. “Diversification” (i.e., balance or diversify engagements and efforts on multiple platforms) strategies stemming from limited budgets and labor constraints. In this paper, we plan to explore which strategy, concentration or diversification, benefits e-commerce retailers more in their marketing performances.



Leapfrogging for Last-Mile Delivery in Health Care

Hummy Song, Assistant Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, Assistant Professor of Health Care Management

Technological innovation has provided developing countries with alternatives to leapfrog the expensive process of incremental investment in physical infrastructure, improving in this way the connectivity of the rural population and its access to medical care. In a series of studies, we seek to understand the impact of delivery drones on health care access, quality, and cost in Rwanda. Specifically, we seek to 1) assess the impact of delivery drones on patient access to care, measured by patient flows to health care facilities, and distance traveled to receive care and 2) to assess the impact of delivery drones on health care quality, measured by clinical outcomes, including maternal mortality rates, infant mortality rates, and overall mortality rates.



Gig Economy Workers: Algorithmic Pricing and Transparency in the Gig Economy

Gad Allon, Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor, Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions

Algorithms control pricing and match customers and workers in the gig economy. However, algorithms face several critiques: they lack transparency, can be biased, and can be inefficient. We empirically analyze these issues and show that algorithms lose efficiency from two sources: competition between platforms and misaligned worker incentives. We model workers’ strategic responses to variation in pricing and estimate counterfactuals on the effects of minimum wage and transparent pricing policies.



Inventory, Speculators and Initial Coin Offering

Serguei Netessine, Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are an emerging form of fundraising for blockchain-based startups. We examine how ICOs can be leveraged in the context of asset tokenization, whereby firms issue tokens backed by future assets (i.e., inventory) to finance growth. We (i) make suggestions on how to design such “asset-backed” ICOs—including optimal token floating and pricing for both utility and equity tokens (a.k.a. security token offerings)—taking into account moral hazard (cash diversion), product characteristics, and customer demand uncertainty; (ii) make predictions on ICO success/failure; and (iii) discuss implications on firm operating strategy.