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Upcoming Seminars


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18 June 2024 (Tuesday) 10:00am (venue: SEK205, Simon and Eleanor Kwok Building, Lingnan University)

Firm-Level Labor-Shortage Exposure

We use FinBERT to extract information from earnings conference call transcripts to develop a novel and reliable measure of labor shortage exposure.  We demonstrate the validity of our measure by showing that states with higher levels of labor-shortage exposure experience lower future unemployment rates but higher wage growth and local labor market tightness, while firms with higher labor-shortage exposure have greater growth in future per-employee staff expenses.  Firms with labor-shortage exposures experience lower earnings call CARs, future stock returns and operating performance.  Firms respond to labor shortages by substituting labor with capital and R&D investments, and by producing more production-process patents. Such measures mitigate the negative effects on future performance.  Our results demonstrate a fruitful application of machine learning to finance and provide insight into labor-capital substitution in response to increasingly expensive and scarce labor.

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Speaker
Prof. Jarrad Harford
Professor and Chair of the Department of Finance and Business Economics 
Foster School of Business
University of Washington

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Biography


Prof. Harford is a Professor of Finance, Paul Pigott-PACCAR Professor in Business Administration, and the Chair of the Department of Finance and Business Economics at the University of Washington, Seattle, US. He is the Managing Editor for the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA), which is ranked one of the four top-tier (4-star) journals in the departmental journal list. Prof. Harford's academic expertise is in business valuation, corporate finance, corporate governance, dividend and payout policy, stock splits, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity.

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28 June 2024 (Friday) 9:30am via ZOOM (Link)

Approximation Algorithms for Assignment Problems in Healthcare Operations

The generalized assignment problem (GAP) is a well studied optimization problem. We examine a variant of this problem called the dynamic GAP.

We present its formulation, show new hardness results (APX HARD) and give a new 2 approximation algorithm.

We then show instances of this problem that can be used to model care giver assignments in certain critical incidence problems in health care and use the approximation schemes to come up with practical solutions that can be quickly implemented.

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Speaker
Prof. Mahesh Nagarajan
Senior Associate Dean (Research) and
Professor of Operations and Logistics Division,
Sauder School of Business,
University of British Columbia

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Biography


Mahesh is the senior associate dean for Research and the Alumni Chair Professor of Stochastic Optimization at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. His research interests include applications of optimization and mathematical modelling in the areas of  cooperative game theory, stochastic inventory theory, health care operations, queueing and approximation algorithms etc. He has served(serves) as an AE for MS, OR, MATH OF OR, and a senior editor in POM and department editor at OR Letters and MSOM. He has won the informs optimization prize, the William skinner prize , Wagner Prize and UBC awards for research excellence in both the senior and junior categories.

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Past Seminars


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29 April 2024 (Monday) 10:10am (venue: SEK106, Simon and Eleanor Kwok Building, Lingnan University)

Framing Decision Problem and Modeling Creative Activity as Search and Optimal Stopping

Traditionally, decision analysis focuses on the optimal decision from a set of a few alternatives. Realistically, alternatives are often not set (and can be generated or discovered), and one can potentially learn more about the risk and relevant objectives. Therefore, framing the decision problem right is extremely important. In this talk I will cover my current research around that. We will discuss “fast and frugal” ways of comparing the alternatives using almost stochastic dominance approach and how to model creative activity as search and optimal stopping.

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Speaker
Prof. Ilia Tsetlin
Professor
INSEAD

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Biography


Ilia M. Tsetlin is a Professor of Decision Sciences at INSEAD. His teaching and research interests are in prescriptive decision making emerging from normative analysis. Two recent research focuses are generic properties of preferences (multiattribute utility and stochastic dominance) and search, deadlines, and the role of uncertainty. 

Other research streams are related to negotiation, auction theory and collective choice. His work has been published in a number of academic journals including Management Science, Operations Research, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Journal of Economic Theory, Psychological Review, Games and Economic Behavior, and Social Choice and Welfare. He currently serves as a Department Editor in Management Science

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16 May 2024 (Thursday) 10:00am via Zoom (LINK

Open Source Products: The Moralization of Innovation

Firms can make their innovation-related knowledge open source (i.e., freely share it with the outside world) instead of keeping it secret or protecting it via patents. Through a series of lab and field studies, this research examines consumer beliefs and reactions to a firms’ open source activities and documents a positive “open source effect” whereby consumers are found to have heightened purchase intentions from firms involved in open source actions. This effect is driven by a societal benefits account: Consumers value open source products because they view the focal firm as a moral agent whose open source actions may benefit society. Consistent with this societal benefits account, the effect is found to be stronger when (1) moral (vs. selfish) firm motives are made salient, (2) consumers view the size of the societal impact as large (vs. small), (3) consumers associate the underlying technology with potentially positive (vs. negative) consequences for society, and (4) the firm freely shares internal (vs. integrates external) knowledge. By showing that, from a consumer perspective, the way firms go about innovation can be seen as more versus less moral (with important downstream consequences), the findings contribute to the literatures on open innovation, corporate social responsibility, and marketplace morality.

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Speaker
Prof. Darren Dahl
Dean of the Sauder School of Business

University of British Columbia

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Biography


Darren Dahl is the Dean of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. His current research interests are in the areas of new product design and development, creativity, consumer product adoption, the role of social influence in consumer behavior, and understanding the role of self-conscious emotions in consumption. His research has been presented at numerous national and international conferences, and published in various texts and such journals as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Science, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. He is the past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Consumer Research and has served as an Associate Editor at a number of other leading journals. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Consumer Research, and the Journal of Marketing. Darren has won awards for both his research (e.g., Killam Research Prize) and his teaching (e.g., 3M Teaching Fellow) efforts.

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3 June 2024 (Monday) 2:30pm (venue: SEK210, Simon and Eleanor Kwok Building, Lingnan University)

Nudges on Environmental Engagement: Evidence from Crowdfunding

We study a platform policy of offering entrepreneurs an option to disclose environmental engagement (E-commitment) using Kickstarter as a laboratory. After the policy rollout, 32.5% of entrepreneurs took up the disclosure option and their projects tend to attract out-of-state backers. Using the rollout as an instrumental variable for E-commitment, we find that the disclosure leads to 13.2% higher likelihood of funding success and 8.7% higher funding amount. We also observe a significant increase in the number of environmental conscious backers, new backers, and environmental related comments. Finally, we find little change in the likelihood of product delivery, but the funding costs rise by 9.5% and the time from funding completion to product delivery stretches longer by 51%. Collectively, the evidence suggests: (1) Kickstarter’s nudge for environmental engagement enhances creators’ ability to attract environmental conscious, new backers; and (2) the environmental conscious backers’ funding decision is likely driven by non-financial, taste-based environmental motive.

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Speaker
Prof. Xiumin Martin
Professor of Accounting
Olin Business School, Washington University in Saint Louis

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Biography


Prof. Xiumin Martin is a Professor of Accounting in Olin Business School at Washington University in Saint Louis. She serves as an editor at The Accounting Review and associate editor at Management Science. Prof. Martin’s research focuses on the role of financial information in the capital market - promoting debt contracting efficiency and improving the efficiency of asset allocation. She has published numerous papers in top-tier accounting and finance journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, and Management Science.

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12 June 2024 (Monday) 3:30pm via Zoom (LINK)

To Refurbish or Not: Implications for Firm’s Decisions, Consumers, and Environment

We study the secondary market intervention strategies of a manufacturer which buys used products back from consumers via trade-in programs. The manufacturer then refurbishes the used products to a chosen quality and sells them in the secondary market. The core of our study is to analyze the optimal refurbishing decisions for the manufacturer, how these decisions affect consumer access to the product, and the environmental footprint.

We use a stylized economic model to study a profit-maximizing firm operating in a monopoly market. Our two-period model captures the heterogeneous consumer valuation of the product and seller's hassle cost in the secondary market. We prove that the manufacturer's optimal strategy is "partial intervention with high trade-in price” for most products, with a few rare exceptions. We discover a surprising non-monotonic optimal trade-in price as a response to product design. We show that the manufacturer's strategy broadens consumer access to the products, but it can also exacerbate the total environmental impact. This negative impact can only be mitigated if the environmental benefits gained from using refurbished products significantly outweigh the environmental impact of the refurbishing operation.

Our findings emphasize the need for managers to tailor their approach to different products. We provide practical guidelines for managers navigating these decisions in our case study, which compares high-end vs. low-end smartphones and gasoline vs. electric cars.

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Speaker
Prof. Greys Sosic
Senior Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affair 
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

Marshall School of Business
The University of Southern California

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Biography


Greys Sošić holds the E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration and serves as a Professor of Data Sciences and Operations at the USC Marshall School of Business. She is the Senior Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Marshall. 
  
Greys specializes in research related to supply chain management, focusing on areas such as sustainable supply chains, competition and cooperation in supply chains, and applied game theory. Her work  has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and has been published in journals including Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing and Services Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management. Her forthcoming book titled  "Supply Chain Network Design: How to Create Resilient, Agile and Sustainable Supply Chains,” which is co-authored with D. Dasgupta and N. Vyas, is set to be released in May 2024.

In addition to her research contributions, Greys has held editorial roles at various prestigious academic journals, including Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing and Services Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, IISE Transactions, and the Decision Sciences Journal
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Enquiries

For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected] or (852) 2616-8371.