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Hazard Rate Estimation for Call Center Customer Patience Time
Estimating the hazard function of customer patience time has become a necessary component of effective operational planning such as workforce staffing and scheduling in call centers. When customers get served, their patience times are right-censored. In addition, the exact event times in call centers are sometimes unobserved and naturally binned into time intervals, due to the design of data collection systems. We develop a TunT (Transform-unTransform) estimator that turns the difficult problem of nonparametric hazard function estimation into a regression problem on binned and right-censored data. Our approach starts with binning event times and transforming event count data with a mean-matching transformation, which enables a simpler characterization of the heteroscedastic variance function. A nonparametric regression technique is then applied to the transformed data. Finally, the estimated regression function is back-transformed to yield an estimator for the original hazard function. The proposed estimation procedure is illustrated using call center data to reveal interesting customer patience behavior, and health insurance plan trial data to compare the effect between treatment and control groups. The numerical study shows that our approach yields more accurate estimates and better staffing decisions than existing methods.

Disguised Corruption: Evidence from Consumer Credit in China
Using a comprehensive sample of credit card data from a leading Chinese bank, we show that government bureaucrats receive 16% higher credit lines than non-bureaucrats with similar income and demographics, but their accounts experience a significantly higher likelihood of delinquency and debt forgiveness. Regions associated with greater credit provision to bureaucrats open more branches and receive more deposits from the local government. After staggered corruption crackdowns of provincial-level political officials, the new credit cards originated to bureaucrats in exposed regions do not enjoy a credit line premium, and bureaucrats’ delinquency and reinstatement rates are similar to those of non-bureaucrats.

Costly Auction Entry, Royalty Payments, and the Optimality of Asymmetric Designs
We analyze optimal auction mechanisms when bidders base costly entry decisions on their valuations, and bidders pay with a fixed royalty rate plus cash. With sufficient valuation uncertainty relative to entry costs, the optimal mechanism features asymmetry so that bidders enter with strictly positive but different (ex-ante) probabilities. When bidders are ex-ante identical, higher royalty rates—which tie payments more closely to bidder valuations—increase the optimal degree of asymmetry in auction design, further raising revenues. When bidders differ ex-ante in entry costs, the seller favors the low cost entrant; whereas when bidders have different valuation distributions, the seller favors the weaker bidder if entry costs are low, but not if they are high. Higher royalty rates cause the seller to favor the weaker bidder by less, and the strong bidder by more.

How Breakthrough Innovation creates start-up success in competitive markets
The majority of fledgling businesses fly straight into the unforgiving rule of natural selection – only the fittest and strongest survive. In terms of start-ups, the rule is even more merciless. What can start-ups do to succeed in this brutal environment? Professor David Tse, Stelux Professor of Marketing and Director of the Contemporary Marketing Centre at the HKU Business School, believes Breakthrough Innovation (BI) is an effective strategy for success. Simply put, BI fosters strategies that help service new and under-served markets.
Everyone can win in business – or can they?
‘Workers against bosses’ is a common theme, but mutual interest is more important in creating value, according to HKU Business School professors.
In search of public service excellence
Public services touch every aspect of the lives of people around the world. These millions of service users also have opinions, both good and bad, on the quality of the public services they access. But how often are they asked about these opinions? And do these opinions help create changes and improvements to the services?
Explore a new economic model for Hong Kong
香港經濟長期以來奉行「自由市場」原則和政府「積極不干預」政策;經貿、金融自由開放,加上低稅率,為特區經常贏得全球最自由經濟體的美譽。「積極不干預」政策延續殖民政府期間經濟管治思維,貨幣政策專注於捍衞聯繫匯率制度,財政政策側重於維持保守的政府開支和盈餘理財。這樣的經濟模式與其傳統的經濟結構(以金融、貿易、物流、旅遊等中介產業為支柱)和經濟形態(低技能低端服務業為主)是匹配的,切合過去整體經濟發展需要,並且創造了繁榮輝煌的歷史里程。
RCEP, CPTPP and WTO
經過八年的努力,在上周末的東南亞國家聯盟(簡稱東盟)峰會中,15個亞太地區國家的有關官員通過視像共同簽署了《區域全面經濟夥伴關係協定》(Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,簡稱RCEP)。15個成員包括了東盟十國和中日韓澳紐,在人口、生產總值和貿易總額三方面都佔了全球約30%,而製造業的生產更是全球的一半以上,可以說是歷史上最大的自由貿易協定。此外,RCEP的涵蓋範圍很廣泛,協定書有20章,分別談及商品貿易、服務貿易、知識產權、電子商貿和產地來源等等。
Potential anti-competitive effects of algorithmic pricing
疫情肆虐加速普羅大眾把購物習慣從線下轉向線上。根據IBM美國零售指數的最新數據,冠狀病毒大流行讓零售業從實體店轉向網上購物的進程提早了約5年;經濟合作暨發展組織(OECD)的報告也指出:疫情正在加快電子商務平台向新的客戶和產品擴展速度。毋庸置疑,進程產生好處:企業從實體經營轉向線上業務時,降低了成本,同時提高了生產效率。但若要確保消費者能從中受益,線上平台所處的經營環境應該保持競爭性。能否維持這一點,未來仍存在不少變數,其中讓人擔心的是,以機器學習為核心的定價算法可能對營商環境的競爭帶來潛在負面影響。
專訪港大教授鄧希煒:赴美廿年初回流 寄望香港「再工業化」
反修例風波迎來《港區國安法》,掀起「香港移民潮」。很多年輕人想離開,而早在香港回歸翌年便負笈美國長達21年、早已成為世界知名學府經濟學者的鄧希煒,卻在去年7月1日正式回流,加盟香港大學成為經濟及工商管理學院教授,並擔任學院轄下中國與全球發展研究所副總監。原本關注國際貿易理論的他,目前專攻香港產業結構轉型。

hku business school
港大經管學院擬40億 蒲飛路建新校舍
港大經管學院明年成立20周年,學院近期計劃重建蒲飛路體育設施用地改建成學院新校舍,學院早前接受本報訪問透露,初步預算造價40億元,會透過學院儲備及籌款等方法支付。

港大經管學院 著重研究及教育
新冠肺炎打擊全球經濟,香港當然沒有例外,港大經管學院將於12月4日推出「香港經濟前景展望」研討會(Thought Leadership Conference Series),協助香港走出當前困局。香港大學經濟及工商管理學院院長蔡洪濱教授指出,香港經濟需要轉型,由傳統的貿易及金融,轉為知識型經濟。學院在研究及教育層面提升實力,同時與社會及商界緊密互動,培育切合經濟發展的人才,以及因應政策提出建議。