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2021 Publications


A critical look at the U.S. deceased-donor organ procurement and utilization system
Ozge Ceren Ersoy, Diwakar Gupta, and Timothy Pruett; Naval Research Logistics 68(1), 44284

The U.S. system for procuring and utilizing deceased‐donor organs for transplantation has been studied and written about in many articles. The purpose of this paper is to examine the interactions between the elements that comprise this system, and point out improvement opportunities that may be affected through operations research/management techniques. The authors demonstrate the need for developing data‐driven and analytic tools. In fact, data is used to generate hypotheses and support claims throughout the paper. The paper also points out the need to fully leverage data that is available to researchers, and to seek data that is currently not deposited in a centralized archive.


A customer portfolio management model that relates company’s marketing to its long-term survival
Leigh M. McAlister and Shameek Sinha; Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 49(3), 584-600

A typical customer relationship management model is designed to increase the value of a company’s existing customers in the next period. While useful in the short term, such a process, followed blindly period after period, would drive the company out of business when those existing customers all eventually died. In reality, no company would do this. Instead, these short-term models are nested within a long-term view of customer management, and it is long-term customer management that the proposed model addresses. The model assumes that a company has identified a set of customer types across which it needs balance in order to remain viable in the long-term (e.g., a company might wish to maintain a supply of “entry-level customers” in order to eventually replenish its collection of more profitable “loyal customers”). Though the model is applicable in any industry, we illustrate it for automobiles. Results reveal the strengths with which each marketing intervention causes General Motors to attract each of their desired customer types. The model is extended to also reveal differences in the ways that marketing interventions by Ford, Toyota, and Honda change the strengths with which those automakers attract customers.


Aggregation and design of information in asset markets with adverse selection
Vladimir Asriyan, William Fuchs, and Brett Green; Journal of Economic Theory 191, 105124

How effectively does a decentralized marketplace aggregate information that is dispersed throughout the economy? We study this question in a dynamic setting where sellers have private information that is correlated with an unobservable aggregate state. In any equilibrium, each seller's trading behavior provides an informative and conditionally independent signal about the aggregate state. We ask whether the state is revealed as the number of informed traders grows large. Surprisingly, the answer is no; we provide conditions under which information aggregation necessarily fails. In another region of the parameter space, aggregating and non-aggregating equilibria coexist. We solve for the optimal information policy of a social planner who observes trading behavior. We show that non-aggregating equilibria are always constrained inefficient. The optimal information policy Pareto improves upon the laissez-faire outcome by concealing information about trading volume when it is sufficiently high. 


All things equal? Heterogeneity in policy effectiveness against COVID-19 spread in Chile
Magdalena Bennett; World Development, 137

Several variables and practices affect the evolution and geographic spread of COVID-19. Some of these variables pertain to policy measures such as social distancing, quarantines for specific areas, and testing availability. In this paper, I analyze the effect that lockdown and testing policies had on new contagions in Chile, especially focusing on potential heterogeneity given by population characteristics. Leveraging a natural experiment in the determination of early quarantines, I use an Augmented Synthetic Control Method to build counterfactuals for high and lower-income areas that experienced a lockdown during the first two months of the pandemic. I find substantial differences in the impact that quarantine policies had for different populations: While lockdowns were effective in containing and reducing new cases of COVID-19 in higher-income municipalities, I find no significant effect of this measure for lower-income areas. To further explain these results, I test for difference in mobility during quarantine for high and lower-income municipalities, as well as delays in test results and testing availability. These findings are consistent with previous results, showing that differences in the effectiveness of lockdowns could be partially attributed to heterogeneity in quarantine compliance in terms of mobility, as well as differential testing availability for higher and lower-income areas.


Answering for yourself versus others: Direct versus indirect estimates of charitable donations
Hyunkyu Jang and Julie R. Irwin; Psychology and Marketing 38(3), 394-415

When researchers ask about behavior in ethical contexts such as charitable giving, they sometimes use indirect questions (e.g., “what would another student donate?”), to allow people to project their actual desires onto the other without social desirability concerns. Despite their prevalence, there is a surfeit of research on whether indirect measures reflect actual behavior better than direct questions (e.g., “how much would you donate”). We addressed this study question, focusing on sensitivity accuracy, which is whether the measure moves up or down as actual behavior does. To measure sensitivity, we elicited direct, indirect, and actual monetary donations from each respondent. Across four studies, and many controls and manipulations, direct measures were significantly more sensitive than indirect measures. Our findings argue for caution in the use of indirect measures of prosocial behavior and also appear to rule out projection as the only/primary driver of indirect responses. Happily, though, these results provide a potential bright spot for researchers: with some minor guidelines and adjustments, direct measures can be, we argue, profitably used to estimate actual behavior in ethical domains.