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【明理讲堂2021年第37期】7-7香港中文大学李鸿飞助理教授:When More is Less: The Effect of Add-on Insurance on the Consumption of Professional Services

报告人:香港中文大学 李鸿飞 助理教授

时间:2021年7月7日(周三)上午 10:00-11:30



The emergence of online platforms for professional services (e.g., cosmetic procedures) represents a natural progression of e-commerce from search and experience goods to credence goods. Due to the deeply consequential nature of professional services and the large information asymmetries between customers and service providers, designing effective risk-reduction strategies are crucial for facilitating digital transactions of professional services. In this paper, we study whether and how the introduction of a novel risk-reduction strategy, the add-on insurance covering the potential cost of negative consequences (e.g., complications and unsatisfactory outcomes), affects the demand for professional services in online platforms. In doing so, we leverage a natural experiment on an online platform for cosmetic procedures, which started to offer the add-on insurance for a subset of cosmetic procedures in 2016. Our empirical study shows that this risk-reduction strategy has asymmetric effects on low- and high- risk procedures. Specifically, the introduction of insurance increases the sales of low-risk procedures, but not that of high-risk ones. More importantly, the insurance has a negative spillover effect on uninsured competitors of insured procedures, regardless of their risk levels. The negative spillover effect of insurance on high-risk procedures is noteworthy because it hurts the sales of their uninsured competitors without increasing their own sales, suggesting that the insurance can decrease the overall demand for high-risk procedures. We further investigate the mechanisms behind the asymmetric treatment effects and the negative spillover effect beyond demand cannibalization using an online controlled experiment. Our findings have important implications for platforms to design, deploy, and evaluate their risk-reduction strategies.


李鸿飞,香港中文大学决策科学与经济管理系助理教授,于美国康涅狄格大学获管理学博士学位。研究领域包括新兴在线平台中的商业分析、人工智能应用和统计方法等。目前在ACM Transaction in MIS发表了一篇文章,并有多篇文章在Information Systems Research、Marketing Science、MIS Quarterly等顶级期刊在审。他擅长讲授数学、统计学、计量经济学和计算机语言相关的技术类课程,例如商业分析、网络分析、数据科学、机器学习等。