I am currently the Zhang Jindong Professor in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School and previously held the University-wide Class of 1942 Term Chair. My primary research and teaching is on the economics of information technology, industries heavily involved in the production or use of information technology (travel, banking, retail, and healthcare), and how changes in information affect consumer behavior, competition and market structure. Most of my recent work has focused on how the movement of IT professionals among firms affects firm productivity, pricing strategies and competition for information goods industries, contracting and productivity in enterprise software, the influence of recommender systems on consumer behavior, and the economic impact of social media. I was also heavily involved in empirical work that addressed the so-called “productivity paradox” of information technology and making the connection between information technology productivity and organizational design – the primary results are that information technology has increased firm performance and productivity growth, and that firms that adopt specific sets of organizational practices get higher returns on their IT investments. Much of this early work was partially funded by an NSF CAREER award. My research been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics Statistics, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Management Science, Information Systems Research and a number of other top-tier outlets. I serve or previously served on the editorial boards of Management Science (IS Department Editor 2009-2014), Information Systems Research (Senior Editor), and Journal of MIS, the three major specialty journals that publish research in information systems economics, and have twice served on the conference committee for the Workshop on Information Systems and Economics. My research has won best paper at Information Systems Research, the Workshop on Information Systems Economics (WISE), and the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) and was a best paper runner-up at Management Science in the IS Area in 2014 and 2015 and three times at ICIS.
My most recent teaching has focused on business analytics (hands-on programming and database) although I hope to get back to my senior undergraduate course in information strategy which is one of the longest running courses on the economics of e-commerce and related industries (introduced in 1998). I also cover the doctoral class in IS Economics as needed. I received the University of Pennsylvania Lindback teaching award in 1998, the Wharton School Hauck award, and am a 9-time winner of the Wharton Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching award. I have been primary Ph.D. supervisor to five students, sat on 20+ dissertation committees, supervised 40+ undergraduate and MBA independent study projects, and served as the OPIM (now OIDD) undergraduate advisor for 8 years. I was also involved in the recent redesign of the Wharton undergraduate curriculum (2016) and currently chair the committee responsible for overseeing the implementation.
I received my Ph.D. in Management from the MIT Sloan School, studying under Erik Brynjolfsson (I was his first Ph.D. student to graduate). I received my Sc.M. and Sc.B. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Brown University where I worked on electronic materials and semiconductor design (in collaboration with researchers at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center and Professor James Rosenberg). I also spent three years working at Oliver, Wyman and Company, a strategy consulting firms specializing (at the time) in financial services and five years working as an intern/technician at Harry Diamond Laboratories (US Army) on microprocessor and memory device testing.
In my spare time, I do litigation support consulting in patent or contract disputes, consumer class actions, and anti-trust issues. I also run, bike, swim (slowly), fly, make sawdust and metal shavings, adopt small animals, and hope to some day finish my black belt in American Kenpo Karate (currently 2nd degree Brown) and get my Commercial Pilot license (currently PP-ASEL/Instrument).