Song Yao

Associate Professor of Marketing

Song Yao

Song Yao

Song Yao is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis. His current research interests lie at the intersection of marketing analytics and empirical microeconomics, focusing on pricing, advertising, new technology, and social media.
Professor Yao has won the American Marketing Association’s Paul Green Best Paper Award and the John Howard Dissertation Award. He was the runner-up for Dick Wittink Best Paper Award in 2018, the finalist for INFORMS Long Term Impact Award in 2017 and 2019, the Frank Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2011 and 2012, the John Little Best Paper Award in 2009 and 2011. He has also been selected by the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) as one of the MSI Young Scholars of 2017. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. He is also the Associate Editor at Service Science. His publications appear in leading academic journals, including Management Science, Marketing Science, the Journal of Marketing Research, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. Prior to joining Olin, Professor Yao taught “Digital / Internet Marketing,” “Customer Analytics,” and “Marketing Management” at the University of Minnesota (Carlson), Northwestern University (Kellogg), and Duke University (Fuqua).

Area of Expertise

Economics, Information Technology, Statistics/Econometrics, Advertising, Consumer Products Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Management and Strategy, Marketing Research, Pricing


  • Ph D 2009, Duke University
  • MA 2004, University of California, Los Angeles
  • C.Phil 2003, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA 1999, Renmin University of China

Academic/Professional Activities

  • Editorial Review Board Member, International Journal of Marketing Research
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Quantitative Marketing and Economics
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Marketing Science
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Journal of Marketing Research

Research Interests

Quantitative Marketing, Empirical Microeconomics, Advertising, New Technology, Auctions, Competitive Strategy, Customer Analytics

Selected Publications

  • "The Impact of Soda Taxes: Pass-through, Tax Avoidance, and Nutritional Effects", Journal of Marketing Research, with Stephan Seiler, Anna Tuchman, 2021
  • "Risk Transfer versus Cost Reduction on Two-Sided Microfinance Platforms", Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Issue 3, 251-287, with Bryan Bollinger, 2018
  • "The Impact of Governmental Interventions on COVID-19 Spread and Consumer Spending", with Nan Zhao, Raphael Thomadsen, Chong Bo (Zack) Wang
  • "Does Online Word-of-Mouth Increase Demand? (and How?) Evidence from a Natural Experiment", Marketing Science, Issue 6, 838-861, with Stephan Seiler, Wenbo Wang, 2017
  • "The Design and Targeting of Compliance Promotions", with Øystein Daljord, Carl Mela, Jason Roos, Jim Sprigg
  • "The Impact of Advertising along the Conversion Funnel", Quantitive Marketing and Economics, Issue 3, 241-278, with Stephan Seiler, 2017
  • "The Impact of a Supreme Court Decision on the Preferences of Americans Regarding Abortion Policy", Management Science, Issue 9, 5405-5417, with Raphael Thomadsen, Robert Zeithammer, 2023
  • "TV Channel Search and Commercial Breaks", Journal of Marketing Research, Issue 5, 671-686, with Wenbo Wang, Yuxin Chen, 2017
  • "Forecasting the Spread of COVID-19 under Different Reopening Strategies", with Meng Liu, Raphael Thomadsen, 2020
  • "Sequential Search with Refinement: Model and Application with Click-stream Data", Management Science, Issue 12, 4345-4365, with Yuxin Chen, 2017