Speaker Series: F.A.S.S

All about the Dollar? F.A.S.S. and Price Dispersion in the Market

Despite the miserable weather on the Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving, room 104 in Clark Hall was full for the first Faculty of Arts Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Hejun Zhuang, the assistant professor of marking in the Business Administration department. Her most recent paper, Why is Price Dispersion Higher Online than Offline? The Impact of Retailer Type and Shopping Risk on Price Dispersion was the topic of her one-hour talk.

Dr. Zhuang partially summarised aspects of her research to make the finding of her research more accessible to non-Business students, such as myself. She spoke of motivations and factors in the market such as price distribution, competitive responses and brand differentiation. The two key components of Dr. Zhuang’s talk that are crucial to understanding her research: the market structure and shopping risk. Shopping risks to consumers include transaction security, which in part answers why individuals will continue to search for a product in-store, despite the possibility of finding it online cheaper.  She also spoke of Game Theory and how it relates to online retailer, offline retailer and dual channel retailers and presented formulas for how consumers price-hunt and purchase.

The audience had numerous questions regarding Dr. Zhuang’s model including how it accounts for temporality, geographical location as well as if this model could be tailored to apply to very specific markets such as electronics, fashion, etc.

I would highly recommend that you attend future F.A.S.S. talks as they’re fascinating and you get to hear about current research by our faculty members! The next speaker in the series will be Interim President Steve Robinson on October 11th during Homecoming with his talk Rival Knowledge in Ancient Greece and Present-Day Canada