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Research that Impacts Business

Browse a collection of articles on the business implications of selected scholarly research.

Olin professors are renowned for their research productivity within their scholarly communities. Their research employs state-of-the-art analytical and empirical methods to address substantive questions. And their research, in turn, informs and invigorates classroom instruction. Learn how research on emerging business challenges can improve your business results; email kittner@wustl.edu, call 314-935-6365, or contact one of Olin's research centers.

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https://youtu.be/T9PmYUZy6Gg
Strategy
NEW

Research shows that, yes, headquarters can add value to business units

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November 10, 2020

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The theory relies upon dynamics between business units where laggard units improve their performance by imitating leaders.
https://youtu.be/TmWXp6Gd_3k
Marketing
NEW

Effect of rewards program is ‘incredibly large’

Authors:

October 2, 2020

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Even simple loyalty programs can dramatically boost customer retention, and they may be one method to help businesses recover after the COVID-19 pandemic. One such rewards program increased the lifetime value of a hair salon chain's customers by 29 percent.
https://youtu.be/ATzgs67Dnx8
Operations
NEW
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, so does the menace to the global supply chain, which is heavily dependent on China.
https://olinblog.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Olin-award2-736x500.jpg
Operations

Algorithm adjusts to human decisions

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February 6, 2020

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Dennis Zhang created a human-focused algorithm to improve warehouse workers’ packing time, winning him the Olin Award for the second consecutive year.
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Economics

HIV treatment innovation leads to better lifetime outcomes

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November 15, 2019

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A new HIV treatment sparks hope, healthier choices for women.
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Accounting

Earnings call language can foreshadow firms’ credit risk

Authors:

October 14, 2019

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Executives' language in earnings calls language can foreshadow firms’ credit risk.

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Marketing

Philadelphia's soda tax lacks fizz

Authors:

December 2, 2019

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If Philadelphia’s soda tax is any indication, local soda taxes don’t work as well as policymakers intend.
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Marketing
New research shows when a company changes its online game’s rewards schedule and also limits how long people can play, the firm actually makes more money — and people devote a smaller share of their time to gaming.
https://source.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Alibaba-popup-Zhang-Dong-2019.jpg
Operations

Invite consumers to pop-up, and pop goes the spending

Authors:

October 4, 2019

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Olin researchers find that inviting potential customers via text message could increase buying with both a pop-up shop retailer and similar product vendors online.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciwz4KwKdRA
Strategy
Organizational Behavior
Marketing

Workplace theft is contagious (and strategic)

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September 25, 2019

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In researching the effect of peer behavior in the workplace, researchers looked at data from 1,049 restaurants from 34 chains over seven years in 46 states.
https://olinblog.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Riot_blog-736x500.jpg
Finance
Hindu loan officers who were exposed to Hindu-Muslim riots as children are more likely to lend to Hindus, not Muslims.
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Finance

A higher purpose as ‘arbiter of all business decisions’

Authors:

August 20, 2019

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Businesses can have a higher purpose. More than that, they should, finds research by WashU Olin’s Anjan Thakor and the University of Michigan’s Robert E. Quinn.
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Economics
Medicare Part D is a role model for publicly financed, privately provided social insurance programs. But how efficient is its mechanism for setting government subsidies?
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Organizational Behavior
Dishonest acts diminish a person’s ability to read others’ emotions, researchers found. And the consequences may reach into the workplace.
https://olinblog.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/self-managedteam-750x500.jpg
Strategy
Inequity “is likely to be a significant problem” — especially for women, according to a new study of self-managed teams.
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Finance

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To examine investors’ decision-making, researchers came up with a novel idea for a laboratory: ABC’s reality TV show “Shark Tank.”
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Strategy
A longstanding thread in the academic literature says as companies grow, their R&D returns diminish. Not so fast, says Anne Marie Knott.
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Marketing
While machine learning and artificial intelligence hold hope for greater business efficiency, research hasn't necessarily backed that up—until now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM80XaZvfqQ
Marketing

Improving choice, maximizing revenue

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May 6, 2019

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How do online retailers suggest products to shoppers that will maximize revenue? With Chinese online retailer Alibaba, researchers supplemented the shortcomings of modern machine learning with customer choice methodologies from a half-century ago, leading to a 28 percent revenue increase.
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Operations

Olin research: Could 2018 tariff impact have been foreseen?

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April 19, 2019

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A new paper from Olin's Panos Kouvelis and Lingxiu Dong begins to create a framework around the complexity of global tariffs as a trade tool.
https://youtu.be/uQSBuiRw42w
Accounting
Finance

Upbeat Message, Downbeat Market?

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February 20, 2019

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Researchers extracted positive or negative tone from 380,000 corporate documents and compared that sentiment with stock returns. The resulting index forecasts down markets when managers are overly upbeat.
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Strategy

Why Entrepreneurs Don't Quit Bad Businesses Sooner

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Oct 17, 2018

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The financial incentives that drive entrepreneurs may blind them to their firm’s prospects. They also tend to react slowly to bad news, but quickly to good news. In contrast, company advisors, with no financial incentives, make better decisions about pulling the plug.
https://youtu.be/TZA1noIcug8
Finance
Economics

Unveiling Effects of Minimum Wage Hikes

Authors:

May 303 2018

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Olin researchers are the first to use a massive set of wage data to uncover previously unrealized nuances in the effects of minimum wage hikes. Employers are more likely to reduce hiring as wages rise, rather than fire workers.
https://youtu.be/4sivt7W4BPY
Operations

Improving Crop Yield With Big Data

Authors:

Apr. 10, 2018

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A farmer’s choice of crop variety has tremendous ROI implications each planting season affecting per-acre yield and the well-being of people in regions with food security issues. A new research framework can aid the decision.