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Selected recent publications in the top management and economics journals

Self-Regulation and External Influence: The Relative Efficacy of Mobile Apps and Offline Channels for Personal Weight Management

( Kwon, Hyeokkoo Eric | Dewan, Sanjeev | Oh, Wonseok | Kim, Taekyung )



This study contributes to the information systems literature on mobile health interventions and omnichannel management by examining the relative effectiveness of mobile and offline channels in facilitating personal weight management. Drawing on the social cognitive theory of self-regulation, our empirical analysis utilizes a system generalized method of moments approach applied to panel data on customers enrolled in a weight loss program that delivers services through multiple channels, including a mobile app and offline office visits. Our results show that the use of the mobile app is positively associated with weight management by both free and paid users. For paid users, who have access to the mobile app and office visits, usage of both channels is associated with increased shortterm weight loss. Furthermore, the two channels function as substitutes for one another, with users able to compensate for infrequent offline store visits through more intense mobile app usage. In the long term, however, only mobile app usage (and not offline store visits) contributes to the sustainability of weight loss, as reflected in reduced weight variability and lower overall failure rate. Qualitative evidence gleaned from interviews with actual customers substantiated the self-regulation mechanism enabled by mobile app usage. Additional empirical analyses further revealed that frequency and granularity of mobile app usage are positively associated with weight loss. We also found that individuals exposed to low performance pressure benefit more fully from mobile app usage. The results are robust to endogeneity concerns and alternative measures of the key variables. Overall, our analysis sheds light on the important role of a self-regulatory mobile app in a multichannel setting of personal weight management, as compared with the external influence stemming from human experts in offline channels, with useful implications for research and practice.

Green Cloud? An Empirical Analysis of Cloud Computing and Energy Efficiency

( Park, Jiyong | Han, Kunsoo | Lee, Byungtae )



The rapid, widespread adoption of cloud computing over the last decade has sparked debates on its environmental impacts. Given that cloud computing alters the dynamics of energy consumption between service providers and users, a complete understanding of the environmental impacts of cloud computing requires an investigation of its impact on the user side, which can be weighed against its impact on the vendor side. Drawing on production theory and using a stochastic frontier analysis, this study examines the impact of cloud computing on users' energy efficiency. To this end, we develop a novel industry-level measure of cloud computing based on doud-based information technology (IT) services. Using U.S. economy-wide data from 57 industries during 1997-2017, our findings suggest that cloud-based IT services improve users' energy efficiency. This effect is found to be significant only after 2006, when cloud computing started to be commercialized, and becomes even stronger after 2010. Moreover, we find heterogeneous impacts of cloud computing, depending on the cloud service models, energy types, and internal IT hardware intensity, which jointly assist in teasing out the underlying mechanisms. Although software-as-a-service (SaaS) is significantly associated with both electric and nonelectric energy efficiency improvement across all industries, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is positively associated only with electric energy efficiency for industries with high IT hardware intensity. To illuminate the mechanisms more clearly, we conduct a firm-level survey analysis, which demonstrates that SaaS confers operational benefits by facilitating energy-efficient production, whereas the primary role of IaaS is to mitigate the energy consumption of internal IT equipment and infrastructure. According to our industry-level analysis, the total user-side energy cost savings from cloud computing in the overall US. economy are estimated to be USD 2.8-12.6 billion in 2017 alone, equivalent to a reduction in electricity use by 31.8-143.8 billion kilowatt-hours. This estimate exceeds the total energy expenditure in the cloud service vendor industries and is comparable to the total electricity consumption in US. data centers.

Dynamic Pricing with Point Redemption

( Chung, Hakjin | Hyun-Soo Ahn | So Yeon Chun )



Problem definition: Reward points function as a new currency that consumers can spend on products and services. We study how point redemption affects the seller’s day-to-day pricing and inventory decisions. Academic/practical relevance: Despite widespread use of point redemption, little has been done on its implication on the seller’s operational decisions. This paper extends the revenue management literature to incorporate the impact of point redemption and provides managerial insights on how the seller can factor point redemption into decisions about price and inventory. Methodology: We develop a choice model in which a consumer chooses to pay with cash or points based on the attributes of reservation price, point balance, and the perceived value of a point. We incorporate this choice model into a dynamic model where a seller adjusts the price along with redemption availability and the required point amount. Results: We show that the effect of point redemption on the seller’s price is nontrivial, as the optimal price tilts upward or downward to the reimbursement rate (the compensatory revenue for a reward sale) depending on the inventory level, time, and the reimbursement rate. Furthermore, such price adjustments can attenuate the optimal markup/markdown level, reducing the price fluctuation derived by a dynamic pricing policy in the absence of reward sales. We find that operationalizing reward sales with some discretionary policies (e.g., control over the reward availability or point requirement) can considerably increase the seller’s revenue. Managerial implications: Our results guide how sellers manage prices and inventory dynamically when consumers can redeem points for purchases. Specifically, we show that a seller can benefit from allowing reward sales even when the reimbursement rate is substantially lower than the cash price. Although the seller benefits from having full control over the required point balance, the greatest benefit can be realized via the control of reward availability.

Ask for Reviews at The Right Time: Evidence from Two Field Experiments

( Jung, Miyeon | Ryu, Sunghan | Han, Sang Pil | Cho, Daegon )



This study examines how the timing of review reminders affects the likelihood and quality of product review postings. The authors postulate that review reminders have two distinct effects, depending on the delivery timing. On the one hand, reminders of review posting given immediately or shortly after a product experience may threaten a consumer's freedom and prompt an adverse reaction. On the other hand, as time after the product experience passes, it may be advantageous to revive memories of review posting using delayed review reminders. To evaluate the effect of review reminders, they conducted two randomized field experiments. The findings show that immediate reminders reduce the chance of review postings relative to a randomized immediate control group who did not receive a reminder, consistent with the notion that the reactance induced by the violation of freedom due to instant review reminders outweighs the benefit of memory recall. Conversely, delayed reminders significantly increase the likelihood of review posting compared to a randomized delayed control, suggesting that the memory recall benefit surpasses reactance. However, the timing of review reminders has little effect on review content. The study contributes to the literature on the temporal effects of marketing activities and provides practical advice for online marketplaces to collect more product reviews.

Analyzing Active Fund Managers' Commitment to ESG: Evidence from the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

( Kim, Soohun | Yoon, Aaron )



The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is the largest global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiative in the asset-management industry to date. We analyze what happens after active U.S. mutual funds sign the PRI to assess whether they exhibit ESG implementation. We find that PRI signatories attract a large fund inflow, but we do not observe improvements in fund-level ESG scores or fund returns. We consider a battery of ways to proxy for funds??? ESG incorporation (e.g., entry/ exit, screening, engagement, voting for pro-ESG proposals), but fail to observe evidence of meaningful on average follow-through. Next, we explore cross-sectional fund characteristics and find that only quant funds exhibit small improvements in ESG performance versus other funds, mainly through buying high-ESG-performing stocks. Furthermore, we note that signatories are not superior performers in ESG issues prior to joining the PRI relative to non-PRI funds, but PRI affiliation tends to be widely advertised on company websites, marketing materials, and fund documents. Overall, a reasonable reader may perceive our findings as consistent with PRI funds??? greenwashing. We note, however, that what we uncover is based only on outcome-based measures and may miss some actual efforts of signatories.

Contact : Joo, Sunhee ( shjoo2006@kaist.ac.kr )

Faculty & Research