WRITING 140: THE MAIN IDEAS OF AO

[7:15pm-7.35pm, 20min]

AO is an interesting game with following features. M produces a product. He can sells either through R or directly to the end market. The market price is linear in the total quantity supplied. M is less efficient in selling; he incurs additional selling cost. The selling cost can be high or low, which is M’s private information. R only knows its prior distribution \mu. Finally, both M and R are risk-neutral profit-maximizing.

The game plays out as follows. M first observes his selling cost, and then he decides the wholesale price. Afterwards, R places the order, followed by R deciding his direct selling quantity. Finally, M produces, delivers, and sells the product through both channels.

Three forces are in play: DM in the retail channel, signaling because of IA, and the ENC competition between the two channels. Without IA, channel competition may reduce DM, i.e., competition is beneficial. However, when IA is in place, the outcome is less conclusive. In particular, if IA is on the R’s side, it actually exacerbates DM, reducing the benefit from channel competition.

AO argues that, however, when IA arises from M’s side, it works to further reduce DM, and hence a beneficial factor. As a result, the answer to whether IA is beneficial or harmful is more nuanced: it depends critically on the nature of IA, i.e., on the M or R’s side. It also depends on the relative selling costs. By spelling out these intricacies, our paper brings a step closer to the better understanding of pros and cons of IA and ENC competition in channel management.

2016-01-26 05.06.13

[SUNSET, NEWPORT BEACH, JUNE, 2015]

WRITING 137: WORK PLAN FOR FEBRUARY

For a long time I’ve been quite cynical even hostile to my area. I believe most of the papers in my area are garbage. They at best make epsilon improvement. Only 5-10 percent are truly original.

Yet people still devote tremendous amount time in this meaningless game. For juniors I understand: this game is the path to power and security. But I have little respect to the tenured ones who still keep producing garbage, the garbage even themselves do not believe in

But unless the academic tenure system collapses, not much will change. The logic is quite simple: if you don’t want to play this game, just quite; there are hundred part-time, adjuncts dying for a permanent, tenure-track spot.

Complaints aside, the tenured are still required to produce to justify their unreasonable pay (yes, i believe most of US academics are overpaid), which never make sense if only justified by teaching alone.

Another justification for playing this useless game is to help students and juniors, a more sensible course. Currently I am involved in four projects with four juniors. Among them, AO is most mature and motivated one. He initiates and takes the responsibility. I only need to discuss and do the final write up. The workload is about a week.

KK needs more guidance. For TQ2, he will email me the computation part. Then I need to finalize it. There are 3 papers to read for the literature review part.

The most troubling one is PL. He wants the result but does not want to work. Instead, he recruit another guy from his previous school. I haven’t heard from him since mid-December. But I am in no hurry: after all, it is him, not me, who needs the paper out so badly. He is working on the extension now. Once that is done, he needs to rework the numerical part two. The writing will be a pain. Expect 1-2 weeks’ work.

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WRITING: MRF PROGRESS

We got the verdict from MS: risky major revision.

In a profession where rejection is norm, this counts as a good news, at least we survive to fight another day.

This is the revision of a rejected paper. In the revision we have addressed every concern raised in the last round. Indeed, I wrote the longest response letter—longer than the revised paper itself—in my career. My attitude is clear: for every issue they raise, we know much better and deeper—they are woefully outgunned, in every dimension.

The revision would have been accepted if we were insiders of the clique. Indeed, we swing referee 1 from ‘major revision’ to ‘minor revision’, and referee 2 from ‘rejection’ to ‘major revision’. They change because they don’t know our identity, so they must judge the paper based on the merit itself.
But the AE (associate editor) knew we are outsiders and determined to kill the paper. If it were up to him, we would have been eliminated in the first round. Fortunately, the DE (department editor), his superior, is a smart and fair guy. Twice, he gives us a fighting change.

Here is the situation: R1 minor revision, R2 major revision, AE rejection, and DE major revision. So if we can persuade R2 to minor revision, AE will have to give in. After all, he does not want to be the bad ass to go against all his peers.

For this month, I will finish TYM and INV first. Then take the MRF revision seriously.

It must come out.

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[CA, 7/27/2009]

Naked Self-Promotion

From my collaborators,

AP: “BTW, your writing style is excellent and I had very little to add to the last section you included.”

IV: “The new numerical section is great! Who did all the numerical analysis? I would be curious to see the model (in Mathematica or MatLab?)”

They made my day :)

[Zion, Utah, Sept., 2011]

Writing: TQ2

This project seeks to make two points: (1) customers’ waiting behavior is context dependent, and (2) he may change mind over time. It models two new features: the partial information environment, and the dynamic decision making.

But these alone would not make the top journal: its analysis follows the footstep of XGO’s work. We must do more to strengthen the case. Instead of assuming two customer behaviors—context dependency and dynamic decision making—we can distill them from the data. Fortunately, KK has the bank data. If used properly, they can provide direct connection between theory and practice. Taken together, the data and model should make a compelling story.

We have drafted the model part. It remains to show that existence of dynamic behavior in practice. Though simple, this step is crucial to sell the story. Now KK has drafted the empirical part. Next week, he will integrate it with the modeling part. Afterwards, it is my turn to finish the project.

Above all, we are still struggling with our punch line.