When does the Platform Tell You the Truth? Optimal Information Provision with Service Differentiation


Date & Time:Mar. 10, 2021   10:00- 11:30am

Venue:SEM 320

Speaker:Jie Zheng(Tsinghua University


Information is one of the most important channels in business decision making, and a platform can manage information disclosed to consumers in order to maximize its profit. In this paper, we analyze the information announcement strategy for an on-demand platform with service differentiation, in which the platform provides not only the standard service with stochastic stock-out risk, but also a more profitable guaranteed service. Consumers' preferences can be influenced by the service availability information announced by the platform. Thus, designing a state-contingent probabilistic disclosure strategy via a Bayesian persuasion approach will be optimal for the platform to boost its profit in both short-run and long-run. This is because the strategy allows the platform to announce a higher stock-out rate of the stochastic service which could persuade more customers to adopt the guaranteed service. By fully characterizing the conditions under which the platform discloses full, partial, and no information, respectively, we conduct analyses on the consequences for the platform's profit, consumer surplus, and social welfare. Investigating the impact of two complementary policies -transparency policy and accessibility policy - this study reveals that these two policies, aiming to subsidize consumer surplus at the cost of platform's profit, have very narrow feasible regions, beyond which they could backfire, causing further negative effects to social welfare. Our study has important policy implications for regulators, and provides a better understanding of the information manipulation incentive in an on-demand platform of differentiated services with information asymmetry between the platform and consumers.

Speaker Biography:  

郑捷,清华大学经济管理学院经济系副教授,博士生导师,清华大学经济管理学院经济科学与政策实验室(ESPEL)常务副主任,清华大学互联网产业研究院产业学者。国际学术期刊Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization副编,Research in Economics副编。现为中国信息经济学会常务理事,中国微观经济理论论坛学术委员会委员,中国行为与实验经济学论坛学术委员会委员,美国亚洲经济研究学会(American Committee on Asian Economic Studies)执行理事,国际行为经济学促进学会(Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics, SABE)理事。研究领域包括信息经济学、产业经济学、实验经济学、行为经济学,研究主题涵盖机制设计、市场设计、信息设计等经典问题和参照依赖、自我控制、互惠利他等行为问题,通过运用理论和实验相结合的分析手段研究不完全信息环境下的个体行为、多方互动、市场均衡。先后主持多项国家自然科学基金项目(结题获特优评价),并多次在学术会议上做主旨演讲与专题报告。已有研究工作已发表于American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings)Games and Economic BehaviorManagement ScienceNature Communications等经济学、管理学、自然科学各领域的知名国际期刊,且有部分工作被收录入实验研究方法权威工具书Handbook of Experimental Economic Methodology。曾获中国信息经济学2011-2015理论贡献奖2016-2018连续三年获中国信息经济学青年创新奖