Management Science and Information Systems' Seminar（2018-05）
Topic: Pricing and Matching in the Sharing Economy
Speaker: Ming Hu, Operations Management at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Time: Thursday, August 30th, 10:00--11:30
Place: Room 217, Guanghua Building 2
Sharing economy platforms use crowdsourced suppliers to provide customers with services or goods. Their decision making often revolves around pricing and matching. Motivated by the emerging sharing economy, we study an intermediary such as Uber, who crowdsources goods or services from independent suppliers and sells them to consumers. First, we focus on the optimality of fixed commission crowdsourcing contracts under market uncertainty. Surprisingly, we show that the commission contract can be optimal or near-optimal for the intermediary. Second, taking into account other factors of suppliers and consumers beyond valuation, such as geographic location or quality, for given prices, we focus on characterizing the optimal matching policy for the intermediary and show when it is optimal to prioritize matching based on distance or quality. Third, we study the joint pricing and matching decision by a platform for a single service or product and take into account suppliers' and customers' forward-looking behavior. We propose a simple heuristic policy and show it is asymptotically optimal.
Ming Hu is a Professor of Operations Management at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and one of the 2018 Poets & Quants Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professors. He was awarded Rotman School Teaching Award 5 years in a row from 2009 to 2013 and 2015 for teaching undergraduate/MBA courses. His research has been featured in media such as Financial Times. Most recently, he focuses on operations management in the context of sharing economy, social buying, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and two-sided markets, with the goal to exploit operational decisions to the benefit of the society. He is the recipient of Wickham Skinner Early-Career Research Accomplishments Award by POM Society (2016) and Best Operations Management Paper in Management Science Award by INFORMS (2017). He currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Naval Research Logistics, co-editor of a special issue of Manufacturing & Service Operations Management on sharing economy and innovative marketplaces, and associate editor of Operations Research and Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and senior editor of Production and Operations Management. He received a master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Columbia University in 2009.
Your participation is warmly welcomed!