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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.

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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.

pub_202007_iimt_wz
Distribution Channel Choice and Divisional Conflict in Remanufacturing Operations
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.

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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.
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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.
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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?
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Cultivate Thought Leadership: Lessons from Blackstone CEO on Global Leadership in the New Normal
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.

Immersive infographic interface and planet hologram with covid 19 coronavirus over dark cityscape background. Concept of data representation and pandemic. 3d rendering toned image double exposure
To rejuvenate the Hong Kong economy 2021
冠狀病毒病疫情初期,一眾經濟學家預測,2020年全球將陷入1930年代大蕭條以來最嚴重衰退,但後來則修訂為與2007至2009年金融海嘯情況相若。例如根據2020年5月《華爾街日報》的調查,美國經濟學家普遍預測,同年美國經濟將收縮6.6%,屬大蕭條以來之最;聯邦儲備局官員隨於6月預測,收縮幅度為6.5%。
Government,Budget,/,Public,Spending,Concept,:,Dollar,Bag,,Coins,
Sovereign wealth fund and ways to improve fiscal reserves income
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。
Aerial view of the Zhuhai section of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, China
New career opportunities for Hong Kong youths under the dual circulation strategy
過去兩年來,香港經歷了內外環境巨變。社會運動影響下,本港經濟持續低迷,加上中美貿易談判曲折、新冠肺炎疫情衝擊 、世界經濟下行,無疑令本地困局雪上加霜。失業人數不斷攀升,青年失業率更遠高於其他年齡組別。若要走出逆境,年輕一代需要多元發展,而粵港澳大灣區建設正好為他們開闢一條發展的新跑道。
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這個“就地過年”的春節,你幸福嗎?
2021年春節,“新冠肺炎疫情”打破了一直以來新春團聚的傳統習俗,“就地過年”成為主流趨勢。這個春節,沒有回到家鄉、“就地過年”的你,開心幸福嗎?近日,中國香港中文大學(深圳)教授賈建民、香港大學副教授賈軾、湖南工商大學副教授徐戈、清華大學博士生袁韻開展的全國性“春節幸福感與疫情應對”問卷調查顯示:就地過年人群的幸福感雖略低於回家(異地)過年的,但兩者相差並不大。總體上,今年春節,人們的幸福感比去年有較大幅度提升。

Immersive infographic interface and planet hologram with covid 19 coronavirus over dark cityscape background. Concept of data representation and pandemic. 3d rendering toned image double exposure
To rejuvenate the Hong Kong economy 2021
冠狀病毒病疫情初期,一眾經濟學家預測,2020年全球將陷入1930年代大蕭條以來最嚴重衰退,但後來則修訂為與2007至2009年金融海嘯情況相若。例如根據2020年5月《華爾街日報》的調查,美國經濟學家普遍預測,同年美國經濟將收縮6.6%,屬大蕭條以來之最;聯邦儲備局官員隨於6月預測,收縮幅度為6.5%。