speaker Yifan Dou, Associate Professor, School of Management, Fudan University time Tuesday, 09 Oct, 13:30-15:00
place Room K01, Guanghua Building 2

Marketing Seminar (2019-11)

Topic: How Mega Is the Mega? Exploring the Spillover Effects of WeChat Using Graphical Model

Speaker: Yifan Dou, Associate Professor, School of Management, Fudan University

Time: Tuesday, 09 Oct, 13:30-15:00

Location: Room K01, Guanghua Building 2


WeChat, an instant messaging app, is considered a mega app because of its dominance in terms of use among Chinese smartphone users. Little is known, however, about its externality in the broader app market. This work estimates the spillover effects of WeChat on the other top 50 most frequently used apps in China, using users’ weekly app usage data. Given the challenge of determining causal inference from observational data, we apply a graphical model and an econometric method to estimate the spillover effects in two steps: (1) we determine the causal structure by estimating a partially ancestral dia- gram, using a fast causal inference algorithm; and (2) given the causal structure, we find a valid adjustment set and estimate the causal effects by an econometric model with the adjustment set for controlling noncausal effects. Our findings show that the spillover effects of WeChat are limited; in fact, only two other apps, Tencent News and Taobao, receive positive spillover effects from WeChat. In addition, we show that if researchers fail to account for the causal structure that is determined from the graphical model, it is easy to fall into the trap of confounding bias and selection bias when estimating causal effects. The findings generate managerial implications in terms of app usage patterns, strategic management of mega apps on an app platform, and app promotional strategies for app platform managers and app developers. This paper is forthcoming in Information Systems Research.



窦一凡,复旦大学管理学院信管系副教授。窦一凡毕业于清华经管学院,先后获得管理学学士及管理学博士学位。窦一凡的主要研究兴趣是与信息产品相关的经济学问题,如信息产品的定价策略、平台模式的定价和协调问题等。窦一凡博士的研究工作先后发表在《Information Systems Research》《European Journal of Operational Research》等国际一流学术期刊上,并被ICIS/HICSS/PACIS等信息管理领域顶尖国际会议的论文集收录。窦一凡的研究工作先后获得获得国家自然科学基金优青项目和上海市曙光计划的资助。

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