演讲主题: Managing Online Service Platforms with Information Heterogeneity: Contract Design and Service Provision
主 讲 人: 李林秋，新加坡管理大学李光前商学院博士后研究员
主 持 人: 关旭，4166am金沙生产运作与物流管理系教授
李林秋博士，新加坡管理大学李光前商学院博士后研究员。于2021年获得中国科学院数学与系统科学研究院运筹学博士学位。研究重点是在线市场和平台、应急库存管理和合同设计，研究已被《Manufacturing and Service Operations Management》和《European Journal of Operational Research》接受。
This paper investigates the contract design and service provision of online service platforms with quality and information heterogeneity. For ease of understanding and exposition, we focus on an accommodation-sharing platform on which a landlord can rent out his house to a customer. The house can be either of high quality or of low quality, and the customer only knows the house quality with a certain probability, which measures her information level. Facing the customer's information heterogeneity, the landlord can choose different levels of observable value-added service to increase the customer's willingness to pay for a booking. For every successful booking, the platform charges a fraction of the booking price as a commission fee. We first investigate the informational role of the service. We find that the price is a more efficient signaling tool compared with the service level, but the landlord would leverage the service level to signal his quality with given price due to price regulation or price competition. The platform's optimal commission fraction is a piecewise function of the customer's information level. The platform’s optimal expected profit first decreases and then increases with the information level. This paper also provides guidance on whether the platform or the landlord should provide the service. We find that the service level or social welfare is larger with the platform providing the service if and only if the landlord's reservation profit is small, the house quality is high, or the service cost is small.