Doctoral Fellows 2013

Sponsored Projects 2013

“Load forecasting and shed detection in demand response programs”

The US electrical system is still substantially based on centralized generation using transmission and distribution lines to bring power to the end loads. With the increasing integration of intermittent and unreliable renewable generation the grid infrastructure will need to be substantially altered in order to maintain grid stability and reliability. Demand Response (DR) is being proposed as a viable resource to meet growing transmission and distribution needs in the US. In this project, Carlos Abad, a PhD candidate in the IEOR, advised by Garud Iyengar, Professor, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, examines the causal effects of bank account ownership on a representative sample of the American urban poor. Using a unique dataset and exploiting quasi-random variation in the likelihood of account opening, he finds a significant reduction in debt delinquency and higher likelihood of credit score improvement among previously unbanked individuals, and provides evidence regarding the mechanisms behind these results.

“Procyclical Credit Rating Policy”Because credit ratings convey pricing-relevant information, agencies’ rating policies may play an important role in the economy. If the rating standard changes in a procyclical fashion with respect to the economic regime, it may deliver an overly optimistic signal during expansions and an overly pessimistic one during recessions. Regulators and media criticize that the recent financial crisis was partly caused by the inflated credit rating for structured finance. On the opposite end of things, the rating of the Euro-zone sovereign bonds were competitively downgraded during the recent European crisis. Several theoretical papers discuss how credit rating agencies (“CRAs”) may have an incentive to implement procyclical rating policies. In this paper, Jun Kyung Auh (2014), a PhD candidate in the Finance and Economics Division, advised byPatrick Bolton, Professor, Columbia Business School, examines the ways in which such rating policy prevails in the corporate bond market. He provides a quantitative estimates of procyclical bias and an economic implication due to such policy.

“Estimating Out-of-Stock Status Using Only Point-of-Sale Transaction Data”

Accurate stock tracking is a crucial capability in inventory management. In many retail settings, however, stock information is very inaccurate or even nonexistent; this is particularly common among small retailers carrying a large number of products, and having scarce resources. In most cases, collecting sales transaction data is a substantially simpler task. The question, then, is whether it is possible to use only point of sale (POS) data to estimate and predict stock levels. In this paper, Juan Chaneton (2015), a PhD candidate in the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division , advised by Garrett van Ryzin, Professor, Columbia Business School, will develop and test an estimation methodology to perform this task.

“Shopping at the Stadium: Does the Game Affect What People Purchase?”

Concessions are a huge revenue source for stadium owners. Further, concessions are becoming an increasingly important component of a fan’s stadium experience. Beyond the tradition concessions (e.g., hot dogs and domestic beer), many new stadiums feature critically acclaimed food vendors. For example, Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, contains an outpost of the immensely popular Shake Shack franchise. While the variety and quality of stadium concessions have grown, surprisingly little research has looked at fans consumption choices during live events. In this project, the author explores the manner in which consumers augment their stadium experience with the purchase of concessions. In this paper, Nicholas Reinholtz (2014), a PhD candidate in the Marketing Division , advised by Oded Netzer , Professor, Columbia Business School, will explore the relationship between features of the live event and the consumption behavior of individual consumers.

“Promoting Competition in Public Procurement”

In this research, Daniela Saban (2015), PhD candidate in the Decision, Risk, and Operations division, advised by Gabriel Weintraub, Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, aims to build a bridge between the practical problems Chile-Compra (the national government procurement agency of Chile) faces with the insight that rigorous research can provide. In particular, it analyzes and designs sourcing strategies to promote competition between suppliers. The key motivation for promoting competition is two-fold: first, it ensures that the government obtains a richer supplier base, potentially enhancing cost efficiency; second, increasing competition between suppliers may lead to a lower procurement cost.