T. Tony Ke

Associate Professor, Business School
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"Too many people make their sole purpose of life to fit into the world around them.

This is a mistake.

It’s your path, Enola.

Sometimes, you’ll stumble.

Sometimes, you’ll fall.

But no matter how lost you feel,

if you stay true to yourself,

the path will always find you again."

My research is in the area of quantitative marketing, microeconomic theory and industrial organization.

My current works investigate consumer search and digital economy.

Working Papers

Finally! "Information Design of Online Platforms." (with Song Lin and Michelle Lu)

    • This paper provides a unified view of personalized product recommendation and targeted advertising and shows that the optimal information design entails limiting consumer search and mixing the matched product with a long tail of unmatched ones for recommendation.

Freshly Baked! "Competitive Model Selection in Algorithmic Targeting." (with Ganesh Iyer)

  • This paper shows that competition leads to simpler algorithms that introduce bias but reduce variance for targeting.

"Peer-to-Peer Markets with Bilateral Ratings." (with Monic Sun and Baojun Jiang), revise and resubmit, Marketing Science

    • NET Institute Summer Research Grant, 2017

    • This paper shows that bilateral ratings may soften price competition and sellers of higher quality may charge lower prices.

"A Simple Micro-Founded Model of Repeat Buying Based on Continuous Information Tracking." (with Wee Chaimanowong)

  • This paper builds a micro-founded model for customer lifetime value (CLV).

"Regulating Digital Piracy Consumption." (with Jieteng Chen and Yuetao Gao)

  • This paper shows that regulators' penalty on piracy users may inadvertently promote piracy consumption.

"Pay To Lose: a Theory of Digital Co-op." (with Kinshuk Jerath and Fei Long)

    • This paper proposes that a common retailer softens manufacturers' competition for category keywords and facilitates business stealing for brand keywords.

Accepted & Published Papers

"A Model of Product Portfolio Design: Guiding Consumer Search through Brand Positioning." (with Jiwoong Shin and Jungju Yu), Marketing Science (accepted)

  • This paper proposes a product-portfolio view of brand positioning and shows that search frictions lead to niche brand.

"Privacy Rights and Data Security: GDPR and Personal Data Markets." (with K. Sudhir), Management Science (accepted)

  • This paper investigates how the two key features of GDPR—privacy rights and data security—impact personal data markets.

"Learning by Choosing: Career Concerns with Observable Actions." (with Christopher Li and Mikhail Safronov), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics (accepted)

  • This paper explores potential inefficiencies when a worker chooses tasks that differ in productivity and information in a dynamic employment relationship and provides a new explanation of wage jump at job promotion.

"Parallel Search for Information in Continuous Time–Optimal Stopping and Geometry of the PDE." (with Wenpin Tang, J. Miguel Villas-Boas and Yuming Zhang), Applied Mathematics and Optimization (2022)

    • This paper introduces the parallel search problem, where an agent learns multiple alternatives simultaneously over time before choice.

"Cheap Talk on Freelance Platforms." (with Yuting Zhu), Management Science (2021)

    • This paper shows that buyers always have incentives to reveal their preferences truthfully on a freelance platform without post-match renegotiations.

"Searching for Service." (with Maarten Janssen), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics (2020)

    • This paper shows that pre-sale service makes a retailer prominent for consumer search, resulting in higher sales and profit despite of showrooming.

"Informational Complementarity." (with Song Lin), Management Science (2020)

    • This paper shows that substitutes can become complements when consumers search among products with correlated information.

"Optimal Learning Before Choice." (with J. Miguel Villas-Boas), Journal of Economic Theory (2019)

    • This papers shows that it can be optimal to learn a worse and more certain alternative so as to rule it out early and save efforts.

"Cooperative Search Advertising." (with Xinyu Cao), Marketing Science (2019)

    • This paper devises a manufacturer's optimal cooperative advertising strategy when he competes with its retailers in search ad auctions.

"Search for Information on Multiple Products." (with Z. Max Shen, and J. Miguel Villas-Boas), Management Science (2016)

    • Finalist, Frank M. Bass Award, 2017 and 2018

    • This paper introduces gradual learning into consumer search and provides a rational account for choice overloading.

"How Inventory Cost Influence Introduction Timing of Product Line Extensions?" (with Z. Max Shen, and Shan Li), Production and Operations Management (2013)

Media Coverage

Other Publications

"Influence Maximization in Social Networks When Negative Opinions May Emerge and Propagate." (with Wei Chen, Alex Collins, Rachel Cummings, Zhenming Liu, David Rincon, Xiaorui Sun, Yajun Wang, Wei Wei, and Yifei Yuan), SDM (2011)

"Rapid Mid-Infrared Variability in Protostellar Disks." (with Hao Huang, and Douglas N.C. Lin), The Astrophysical Journal (2012)