Chris Yang Successfully Defends PhD Thesis

Chris Yang has successfully defended his PhD thesis at Carnegie Mellon University. His thesis is a collection of essays on consumer behavior in telecommunications. His first paper looks at the effect of reducing lock-in periods in industry on firm profit, consumer surplus and welfare. This paper shows that reducing lock-in periods may not always increase welfare because of the capital fixed costs associated to the additional reallocation of consumers among firms. His second paper looks at how consumers use signals from friends and from the crowd to choose which movies to search for and then to purchase. This paper shows that consumers first use information from friends to browse for movies and only later take likes from the crowd into account to purchase, and thus these signals carry different information and different value throughout the digital shopping journey. Chris is now joining Houzz as a data analyst.