Rowena is a fifth-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Operations Management track, who is grateful to be co-advised by Prof. Noah Gans, Prof. Serguei Netessine and Prof. Gerry Tsoukalas. She is currently on the 2019-2020 job market.
Rowena develops stylized models using analytical and numerical tools to understand innovative business models in the context of operations management. Her research involves i) revenue management through pricing and inventory control; ii) the interactions between strategic agents; and iii) the design and evaluation of new business models based on i) and ii). In particular, her current research consists of two streams of work:
1) the design of an emerging fundraising method, Initial Coin Offerings (Finance-Operations Interface);
2) optimal airline overbooking policies under different compensation schemes (Service Operations).
Before joining Wharton, Rowena graduated from Duke University in 2015 with a BS in Mathematics (graduation with distinction in the major) and a minor in Music. She developed her interest in research when writing her undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Prof. Ezra Miller.
Abstract: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are an emerging form of fundraising for Blockchain-based startups. We propose a simple model of matching supply with demand with ICOs by companies involved in production of physical products. We examine how ICOs should be designed---including optimal token floating and pricing for both the utility tokens and the equity tokens (aka, security token offerings, STOs)---in the presence of product risk and demand uncertainty, make predictions on ICO failure, and discuss the implications on firm operational decisions and profits. We show that in the current unregulated environment, ICOs lead to risk-shifting incentives (moral hazard), and hence to underproduction, agency costs, and loss of firm value. These inefficiencies, however, fade as product margin increases and market conditions improve, and are less severe under equity (rather than utility) token issuance. Importantly, the advantage of equity tokens stems from their inherent ability to better align incentives, and hence continues to hold even in unregulated environments.
Description: 2019 INFORMS Section on Finance Best Student Paper Award Honorable Mention
Abstract: Using airlines as a backdrop, we study optimal overbooking policies with endogenous customer demand, i.e., when customers can internalize their expected cost of being "bumped". We first consider the traditional setting in which compensation for bumped passengers is fixed and booking limits are the airline's only form of control. We provide sufficient conditions under which demand endogeneity leads to lower overbooking limits in this case. We then consider the broader problem of joint control of ticket price, bumping compensation and booking limit. We show that price and compensation can act as substitutes, which reduces the general problem to a more tractable one-dimensional search for optimal overbooking compensation, and effectively allows the value of flying to be decoupled from the cost of being bumped. Finally, we extend our analysis to the case of auction-based compensation schemes, and demonstrate that these generally outperform fixed compensation schemes. Numerical experiments to gauge magnitudes suggests that fixed-compensation policies that account for demand endogeneity can significantly outperform those that do not, and that auction-based policies bring smaller but significant additional gains.
Wharton Math Camp, Summer 2018 (Instructor)
Wharton Math Camp, Summer 2017 (Instructor)
OIDD 643, Analytics for Revenue Management, Spring 2020 (Q4) (TA) (Scheduled)
OIDD 612, Business Analytics, Spring 2019 (Q3) (TA)
OIDD 612, Business Analytics, Spring 2018 (TA)
MGMT 198, Managing Disruptive Change: Cryptocurrencies, Fall 2019 (Q2) (TA)
OIDD 101, Intro to Operations and Information Decisions, Spring 2017 (TA)
Honorable Mention, 2019 INFORMS Section on Finance Best Student Paper Award, 2019