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ISOM Seminar: Ruomeng Cui, Emory University, OPMGT
WhenFriday, Oct 6, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Campus locationPACCAR Hall (PCAR)
Campus roomPaccar 395
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsISOM Department
(206) 543-1043

Paccar Hall, Room 395

Seminar Speaker:
 Ruomeng Cui
Affiliation: Emory University
Area: Operations Management

Name of Presentation:
Managing Information in Online Marketplaces: Field Experiments

Information has become an important lever for companies to manage operations. I will talk about two studies that explore the value of inventory information and the value of review information on retail and sharing platforms respectively.

The first research studies how customers learn from the inventory information. Inventory information might induce herding and the scarcity effect. Based on a unique setting from Amazon lightning deals, which displays the percentage of inventory consumed in real time, we run two randomized field experiments on Amazon. In our experiment, we create exogenous shocks on the inventory availability information to a random subset of Amazon lightning deals. In addition, we track the dynamic purchasing behavior and inventory information for 23,665 lightning deals offered by Amazon in August 2016 and exploit their panel structure to further explore the underlying mechanisms behind learning. We find evidence of consumer learning from inventory information: a decrease in product availability causally attracts more sales in the future; in particular, a 10% increase in past sales leads to a 2.08% increase in cart add-ins in the next hour.

The second research studies the root cause of discrimination and how to eliminate discrimination on Airbnb. We conduct randomized field experiments among 1,256 hosts on Airbnb by creating fictitious guest accounts and sending accommodation requests to them. We find that requests from guests with distinctively African American names are 19 percentage points less likely to be accepted than those with distinctively White names. However, a public review posted on a guest page mitigates discrimination: when guest accounts receive a positive review, the acceptance rates of guest accounts with distinctively White and African American names are statistically indistinguishable.…
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