Latest Research Publications
In the Media
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.
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.
Journal of Financial Economics
We consider a firm consisting of two divisions, one responsible for designing and manufacturing new products and the other responsible for remanufacturing operations. The firm will sell these new and remanufactured products either directly to the consumer (direct selling) or through an independent retailer (indirect selling). Our study demonstrates that a firm’s organizational structure can affect its marketing decisions. Specifically, a decentralized firm with separate manufacturing and remanufacturing divisions can benefit from indirect selling with higher firm profit, supply chain profit, and total consumer demand than direct selling. Moreover, this structure also induces a remanufacturable product design. In contrast, a centralized firm in which the manufacturing and remanufacturing divisions are consolidated is intuitively better off by choosing direct selling than indirect selling. Furthermore, we show that, surprisingly, when the focal firm sells through an independent retailer, a decentralized internal structure can result in higher supply chain profit than a centralized internal structure. We further investigate the case of dual dedicated channels and conclude that, while direct selling of remanufactured products and indirect selling of new products can better induce a remanufacturable product design and higher supply chain profit, it is not in the best interest of the firm in terms of total sales and firm profit.
Production and Operations Management
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.
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?
On Thursday, January 21, the online dialogue between Mr. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, and Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean of HKU Business School, attracted over 500 attendees from around the world. As an event kicking off the School’s 20th Anniversary celebration, the dialogue between two masterminds perfectly aligns with the School’s commitment to engaging globally impactful academic and business leaders in cultivating thought leadership and inspiring our young leaders. During the event, the two speakers discussed insightful topics ranging from management skills to global economic prospects.
1 Feb 2021
有留意國際金融事務的讀者，除了知道互惠基金、對沖基金、私募基金、風險投資等概念外，一定也會注意到主權財富基金（Sovereign Wealth Fund）。香港人最熟悉的可能是新加坡的淡馬錫，它亦是渣打銀行的主要股東。本文的目的是介紹主權財富基金，順帶談及香港財政儲備如何增值的問題。
17 Feb 2021
10 Feb 2021