Research Seminar 2015-2016

Agenda :

Titles, abstracts and documents :

  • September 2016, Tuesday 20 (02:00 pm): : Moral Hazard in VC Finance: More Expensive than You Thought 
    by Julius Tennert (University of Hohenheim)
    Etilux room – N1

    Abstract :Venture projects are exposed to internal and external uncertainty. We relate internal uncertainty to moral hazard concerns. The entrepreneur has incentive to behave opportunistically when private benefits from hidden information and hidden action are sufficiently large. The Venture Capitalist (VC) can monitor the internal risk by making investments and engaging a learning process of the entrepreneur’s behavior. External market uncertainty relates to unforeseen contingencies like fluctuations in input prices, demand shocks that could depress the projects expected value. The VC can reduce this risk by delaying the investment decision: he will wait for informational updates about future market conditions before committing subsequent funds. We examine the joint effect of agency cost and external market uncertainty. We show that external market uncertainty increases entrepreneur’s incentive to behave opportunistically. Moral hazard creates an opportunity cost as it forces the VC to abandon his real option to initiate a discovery process internally.
    Joint work with Hans-Peter Burghof and Marie Lambert.

  • September 2016, Wednesday 14 (01:00 pm): A stochastic activity-based model and a strategic agent framework for traffic simulation
    by Johan Barthelemy (University of Wollongong)
    Etilux room – N1

    Abstract :The work presented in this seminar focuses on the simulation of the mobility behaviour of (large) populations, i.e. the travel demand and its assignment on the road network.
    The travel demand is simulated using a stochastic activity-based approach in which the travel demand is derived from the activities performed by the individuals. The proposed model is distribution-based and requires only minimal information, but is designed to easily take advantage of any additional network-related data available. The proposed activity-based approach has been applied to the Belgian synthetic population. The quality of the agent behaviour is discussed using statistical criteria and results shows that the model produces satisfactory results.
    The demand can then be assigned on the network. For that purpose, a novel agent-based framework is being developed. The proposal relies on the assumption that travellers take routing policies rather than paths, leading us to introduce the possibility for each simulated agent to apply, in real time, a strategy allowing him to possibly re-route his path depending on the perceived local traffic conditions. The re-routing process allows the agents to directly react to any change in the road network. For the sake of simplicity, the strategy is modelled with a simple neural network whose parameters are determined during a preliminary training stage. The inputs of such neural network read the local information about the route network and the output gives the action to undertake: stay on the same path or modify it. As the agents use only local information, the overall network topology does not really matter, thus the strategy is able to cope with large networks. Numerical experiments are performed to test the robustness and adaptability to new environments. The methodology is also compared against MATSim and real world data. The outcome of the experiments suggest that this work-in-progress already produces encouraging results.

  • June 2016, Thursday 23 (11:30 am): Link About It: Information Asymmetry, Knowledge Pooling and Syndication in Project Finance Lending
    by M. G. Contreras (Radboud University)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :In a market where information asymmetries dominate, a firm’s best strategy is often to pool resources from different firms in the form of an alliance with the purpose to mitigate such informational disadvantages. When firms form alliances, they may choose between firms with whom they have previously collaborated or new partner firms. Such a decision is influenced by the extent to which there is a need for new and complementary information since new partner firms possess non-redundant information and experience (Burt, 1992; Podolny, 1994; Ahuja, 2000; Baum et al., 2005; Li et al., 2008). But which market conditions lead firms to form alliances with new partners as opposed to previous partners? In particular, how do firms’ strategic alliance formation decisions change when the market they operate in suffers from large information asymmetries? Using the syndicated project finance loan market as an example, we discuss a firm strategy that has been partly overlooked by the literature, namely, that firms’ decisions to make new partnerships vis- à-vis resorting to previous partnerships depend on the information asymmetries present in the market. In particular, we find that banks are more likely to create new partnerships when information asymmetries are present in the market and when banks are directly affected by them; however, the rate at which the market becomes more opaque has a decreasing effect on the number of new partnerships formed.

  • June 2016, Wednesday 22 (11:00 am): The conceptual framework for the optimization of logistic chain of petroleum port according to the systemic approach 
    by Emna Belaid (University of Liège)
    223 – N1

    Abstract :The port is a vital component for the economy of a nation. It incorporates a global transport system and considered as one of the logistic links which contributes in the creation of the value chain. Its complexity is accentuated because of the globalization and of the large number of operators whose contradictory objectives. Therefore, a permanent competitive environment had been created between supply chains. The main challenge for the harbor planning and development policies is thus to maintain a competitive level and ensure its efficiency.
    This latter is assessed by qualitative and quantitative economic approaches which are mainly applied in the case of container ports. Indeed, few studies have been done on oil port performance. In addition, these studies do not evaluate either the global behavior of the port or the relationships between its components. Although an oil port meets all the criteria of an ordinary port, it is also subject to specific security requirements. Thus, a particular attention should be given to its management.
    The aim of this work is to present an integrated framework for the optimization of the port logistics chain. This framework is an approach for understanding the port system under a global vision in order to promote its competitiveness and improve its value chain. This process uses the systemic and the stakeholder approaches at its first part. It uses the system dynamic theory in order to model and simulate the relationships.
    The “port authority” and “transport department” relationship illustrates the influence of the latter in the land pre-carriage. Taking into account the risk and the infrastructure construction cost, an exclusively pipeline network is drawn which restraints the use of tankers. The “transport department” decision making uses the « ?-constraint » technique to deal with the biobjective problem according to a spanning tree network design.
    Therefore, this conceptual framework for the understanding and the optimization of the logistic chain management of a petroleum port is a decision support tool for all its stakeholders.

  • May 2016, Wednesday 25 (10:30 am): Theoretical and practical challenges in nurse rostering
    by Greet Vanden Berghe (KU Leuven)
    1715 – N1

    Abstract :Health care is under high pressure to improve efficiency, given increasing requirements and decreasing resources. Among the activities to optimise, nurse rostering is one of the most relevant to address. The problem is computationally complex and has potential for improvement through automated decision support. Personnel rosters also have a considerable socio-economic impact.
    This optimisation problem has yielded ample practice-oriented operational research approaches. Despite the vast amount of academic research results, it remains hard for novice developers to profit from general insights or re-usable approaches. This `cold start’ issue can be partially explained by complicated regulations typical for personnel environments with 24/7 duties and different in almost every organisation. The very same issue also persists due to the lack of a theoretical framework for nurse rostering.
    From an academic point of view, interesting models have been developed for varying nurse rostering problems. The approaches range from self-rostering and manual problem decompositions to different levels of automated decision support.
    The seminar will focus on the challenging interplay between practical and theoretical nurse rostering contributions.

  • May 2016, Friday 20 (01:30 pm): The Fascinating History of the Vehicle Routing Problem
    by Gilbert Laporte (HEC Montreal)
    030 – N1

    Abstract :The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), introduced in 1959 by Dantzig and Ramser, plays a central role in distribution management. It consists of designing a set least cost delivery or collection routes for a set of vehicles based at a depot and visiting a set of geographically scattered customers, subject to a variety of constraints. The most common constraints are capacity constraints, duration constraints and time windows. This talk will concentrate on the so-called classical VRP with capacity constraints only. The VRP is ubiquitous and highly important from an economic point of view. From a research perspective, it occupies a central role in operations research. Its study by the scientific community has fueled the development and growth of several families of exact and approximate algorithms. Exact algorithms such as branch-and-cut, column generation and branch-and-cut-and-price owe part of their evolution to the study of the VRP. Similarly, the most common classical heuristics and most of the more recent metaheuristics have been developed through the study of the VRP. In this talk I will highlight several of these developments. In spite of all the attention the VRP has received over the past 55 years, it can still only be solved exactly for relatively small instances (with slightly more than 100 customers) and the corresponding algorithms are rather intricate. Over the past 10 years or so, several powerful metaheuristics have been put forward for the approximate solutions of the VRP. The best ones combine concepts borrowed from local search and genetic search. Nowadays, the best metaheuristics can generate rather quickly solutions whose value lies within 1% of the best known solution values on a set of benchmark instances. This talk will also review these developments. It will close with some research outlooks.

  • May 2016, Wednesday 18 (09:30 am): The Challenges of Academic Writing and Publishing In Management Research
    by Teresa Nelson (Simmons College, Boston)

    Abstract :This seminar serves as a stand-alone introduction to a broader one-day seminar on key success factors in academic writing and publishing. Teresa Nelson will share her experience and lead a discussion on some of the following topics:

    • Writing a good paper that will be published: challenges, pitfalls, success factors
    • Metrics to choose an appropriate journal
    • Working with co-authors strategically and intellectually
    • How to build a consistent, value-add publication portfolio
    • Thinking about how to present your portfolio to the academic job market
    • Evolutions in academic publishing
    • How to format and submit the paper accordingly: Making a good first impression
    • Dealing with reviewer rejection and the reviewing process
    • Reviewing a paper – getting started as a colleague
  • May 2016, Friday 13 (01:30 pm): A contextual analysis of extreme right voting and attitudes towards immigrants and immigration in Belgium
    by Quentin David (LEM-Université de Lille)
    Séminaire 7 – B31

    Abstract :This paper argues in favour of a more careful reflection on scale in the contextual analysis of electoral studies. It studies the impact of two contextual factors (unemployment and presence of immigrants) on extreme right-wing voting and attitudes towards immigrants and immigration. Systematically testing various scales, the most significant impacts are found at an intermediary geographic scale (that is, a radius of four to eight kilometers around one’s residence or municipality) rather than at smaller or larger levels. These results are interpreted in light of both Allport’s intergroup contact theory and Blumer’s group threat theory.

  • May 2016, Thursday 12 (02:30 pm): Identity-based Governance of Enrollment and Joint Production in Emerging Organizations 
    by Jana Thiel (Maastricht University)
    N1 – tbd

    Abstract :In this talk I will present a recent working paper in which my co-author and I aim to develop a novel framework of how entrepreneurs may direct and orchestrate joint production collaboration in emerging organizations. We delineate how initial conditions such as low human asset specificity, informal structures, and high uncertainty lead to a number of managerial challenges, notably high turnover risk, fast contract obsolescence as well as goal coordination risks. We posit that traditional contracting and incentive systems fail to address these risks in emerging ventures. In looking for possible solutions we adopt an identity lens. Based on the understanding that identity perceptions serve both as enabling and limiting factors for the actions of individuals, we propose a set of identity-related governance strategies that can motivate joint production and enrollment under conditions of uncertainty. We develop and explain how the exploitation of identity orientations and a focus on identity-based control allows entrepreneurs to motivate and mobilize human resources both efficiently and effectively, i.e. at low cost for the entrepreneur, high venture member satisfaction and increased productivity. We contribute testable theory to three important research streams: strategic human capital, the recently emerging inquiry on the entrepreneurial enrollment problem, and sources of firm heterogeneity.

  • May 2016, Tuesday 10 (03:00 pm): Justifying structural change in European public sectors: a cross-country empirical study of the contextual determinants of the NPM reform rhetori
    by Giovanni Esposito (Lentic – ULg-HEC) and Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta (Università di Napoli « L’Orientale »)
    223 – N1

    Abstract :Framed within the paradigm of New Public Management (NPM), structural reforms in the EU aimed at modernizing the public administrations of Member States (MSs) have long since been a priority area of the EU’s economic policy. Since the 1990s, these reforms have been sharply intensified across European countries with the declared purpose of enhancing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in their national public sectors’ organizations. Following NPM’s principles, these reforms have attempted to introduce market logics and business-style practices imported from the private sector into public sector organizations. The purpose has been to maximise organizational performance and to optimise public spending by cutting costs and using professional management.
    The seminar will focus on the process of NPM reforms in the EU which started in the 1990s and will present the outcomes of a study on the NPM electoral rhetoric of national political parties. More precisely, it will address the MSs’ domestic aspects which can be associated with the spread of the NPM values across the ideological platforms of national parties. This study thus elucidates the MSs’ contextual determinants of the NPM parties’ rhetoric by highlighting the institutional, economic and political contexts within which national parties have advocated NPM-style reforms in their countries.
    The major contribution of this study consists in providing empirical evidence of the patterns of diffusion of NPM values across the political manifestos of European parties. This contribution follows the ongoing research initiatives supported by the European Commission, seeking for novel and systematic quantitative data on NPM across Europe (COCOPS, 2013).

  • April 2016, Friday 29 (02:00 pm): Estimation of discrete choice modeling parameters for revenue management models 
    by Laurie Garrow (Georgia Institute of Technology)
    1715 – N1

    Abstract :We develop a new parameter estimation routine for estimating multinomial logit models for which one alternative is completely censored. Our method is based on decomposing the log likelihood function into particular marginal and conditional components. Simulations based on industry hotel data clearly demonstrate the superior computational performance of our method over existing methods that are capable of estimating price effects. We consider extensions of our methodology to Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) discrete choice models that allow for flexible product substitution patterns. We show how the GEV choice-based sampling estimator can be applied to estimate parameters associated with censored alternatives, and derive identification rules that can be used to determine when these parameters are unique. Empirical examples based on simulated datasets demonstrate the large-sample consistency of estimators and provide insights into data requirements needed to estimate these models for finite samples.

  • April 2016, Friday 29 (1:30 pm): Should I Go by Bus? A Preliminary Assessment of the French Long Distance Bus Industry Liberalization
    by Patrice Bougette (Université de Nice)
    Séminaire 7 – B31

    Abstract :The opening up of the French long distance bus industry is one of the outcomes of the Macron Law, a 2015 bill designed to modernize the economy, foster growth, and deregulate many industries. Using a unique data set of several national and international bus routes, we show that the effects of the liberalization so far have been relatively mixed. Despite the entry of new competitors and increased daily services, the liberalization process has not, on average, reduced fares. While certain routes have not benefited from the expected procompetitive effects of liberalization, others are facing fiercer competition and dynamic pricing strategies and higher prices are being applied to the most used services. By exploiting the panel nature of our data, we show that the determinants of bus fares depend positively on the distance between origin and destination, and on school holiday periods. Fares are affected negatively by population wealth in the city of origin and positively by the size of the population in the city of origin. Lastly, a young population has a negative effect on fares since operators specifically target this category of customer.
    This is a joint work with Thierry Blayac (Université de Montpellier, LAMETA).

  • April 2016, Friday 29 (11:30 am): Are Sovereign Wealth Fund Investment Decisions based on Country Factors?
    by Bertrand Candelon (chaire Insti7 – Ipag)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :In this paper, we assess whether macroeconomic factors significantly influence observed sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investment decisions. Using both a novel dataset of SWF investments and a two-tiered dynamic panel tobit model, we evaluate the role of structural macroeconomic factors (as governance, democracy,..) in the decision to invest between SWFs and targeted countries. Considering a large panel (75 countries over the recent period 2000-2013), we find that indeed SWFs take into account macroeconomic characteristics to decision wether or not they should invest in a particular country.

  • April 2016, Wednesday 27 (10:30 am): Models for horizontal supply chain collaboration
    by Philippe Chevalier (UCL)
    Etilux Room – N1

    Abstract :Horizontal collaboration can bring significant benefits to firms even in a competitive environment. In this talk we will present models for different types of collaboration ranging from Joint Ventures to joint planning of production equipment. Depending on the nature of the collaboration agreement, the incentive problems to be solved to reach an agreement that is both efficient and stable are different. In this talk we present different models to study collaboration agreements between firms. We analyse the investment decision, the capacity allocation decision and the short term planning decision.

  • April 2016, Friday 22 (01:30 pm): Optimal Margins and Equilibrium Prices
    by Florian Heider (ECB)
    Séminaire 7 – B31

    Abstract :We study the interaction between contracting and equilibrium pricing when risk-averse hedgers purchase insurance from risk-neutral investors subject to moral hazard. Moral hazard limits risk-sharing. In the individually optimal contract, margins are called (after bad news) to improve risk-sharing. But margin calls depress the price of investors’ assets, affecting other investors negatively. Because of this fire-sale externality, there is too much use of margins in the market equilibrium compared to the utilitarian optimum. Moreover, equilibrium multiplicity can arise: In a pessimistic equilibrium, hedgers who fear low prices request high margins to obtain more insurance. Large margin calls trigger large price drops, confirming initial pessimistic expectations. Finally, moral hazard generates endogenous market incompleteness, raises risk premia, and induces contagion between asset classes.

  • March 2016, Tuesday 22 (11:00 am): Pricing default exposure to downside risks
    by Roméo Tédongap (Stockholm School of Economics)
    1711 – N1

    Abstract :Intertemporal consumption-based equilibrium asset pricing, featuring downside risks through disappointment aversion preferences, implies that investors value assets through their undesirable exposure to two regular (market return and volatility) and three downside risk factors (the disappointment factor, the market downside factor, and the volatility downside factor). We show that these factors have both a predictive and a contemporaneous relationship with credit derivative swap spreads. Our results are robust to including macroeconomic factors, firm characteristics and other tail risk factors in the literature. We measure individual firm credit risk exposure to regular and downside risk factors using the CDS term structure. We find that these exposure information are also incorporated in the cross-section of expected stock returns and CDS spreads.

  • March 2016, Tuesday 8 (01:30 pm): An external cost calculator framework for evaluating the sustainability of transport solutions
    by Dr. Tom Van Lier (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
    224 – N1

    Abstract :Not taking external transport costs into account distorts market price signals, results in too high (road) traffic levels and avoids arriving at a societal optimum. The economic theory is sound, but practical applications are difficult due to the complexity of monetizing the different externalities in a sufficiently accurate way. The presentation will consist of three parts. A short introduction on the different transport externalities, with the current state-of-the-art methodologies for determining the external costs will be given. In a second part, some cases of external transport cost calculations for assessing the sustainability of transport options will be discussed, e.g in the field of horizontal logistics collaboration and teleworking. A third part will discuss the challenges for particular external cost categories in more detail, and will explore some potential ways forward to arrive at more accurate external cost assessments.


  • March 2016, Friday 4 (10:30 am): Religions: Universal Messages, Country-Specific Effects on Education?
    by Pierre-Guillaume Méon (Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management)
    Séminaire 6 – B31

    Abstract :We study the impact of major religious denominations on individuals’ levels of education, using the World Values Survey. Country-by-country regressions show that no single denomination has a universal effect on education. Each denomination has in some countries a positive and statistically significant effect, a negative and statistically significant effect in others, and a statistically insignificant effect elsewhere. We then study the correlates of the sign of the impact of a denomination in a country. We find that the effect of a given denomination in a given country is less likely to be significant in more democratic countries, with a higher per capita GDP, a higher average level of education, and lower religious and ethnic tensions. Finally, we find that denominations that are a minority in a country are less likely to be associated with a lower level of education in that country.

  • February 2016, Tuesday 23 (01:30 pm): Drivers behind Revenue Concentration in Nonprofit Organizations
    by Georg von Schnurbein (University of Basel)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) rely on a diverse mix of revenue sources. Existing literature mainly finds support of diversification among different revenue sources being desirable as it enables organizational growth. Given a new data set of over 200 Swiss fundraising charities we prove the opposite to be true: Organizations that display a higher degree of revenue concentration grew stronger between 2005 and 2012. We identify factors influencing the organization’s capital and revenue structure. These factors can be divided into “nature” and “nurture” which allows us to show which of them may be actively influence by an NPOs’ management and which are stemming from the organization’s condition that cannot be readily overcome by managerial interventions (such as age, size, and legal form). Revenue concentration is positively influenced by an organization’s geographical range of activity and consistency in primary revenue source and negatively by board size and diversity.

  • February 2016, Tuesday 23 (09:45 am): Determinants of Social Entrepreneurial Intentions
    by Kai Hockerts (Copenhagen Business School)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :This article published in « Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice » tests the model proposed by Mair and Noboa (2006) who identify four antece- dents which they suggest predict social entrepreneurial intentions. The study extends the model by including prior experience with social problems as an additional variable. Find- ings show that prior experience predicts social entrepreneurial intentions. This effect is mediated by the antecedents suggested by Mair and Noboa. Social entrepreneurial self- efficacy has both the largest impact on intentions as well as being itself most responsive to prior experience. Lastly, the study shows that the amount of optional social entrepreneurship electives students enroll in is predicted by social entrepreneurial intentions.

  • February 2016, Wednesday 17 (02:30 pm): Jockeying for Position in CEO Letters: Impression Management and Sentiment Analytics 
    by Kris Boudt (KUL)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :This paper evidences the strategic positioning of positive and negative news within a CEO letter as a subtle form of impression management. For the CEO letters published by DJIA firms between 2000 and 2011, we find that there is a smile in the frequency of positive words within the letter. The shape of the intratextual number negative words is a half-smile, with a prevalence of negative words at the beginning of the letter. It follows that the difference (net sentiment) shows a right-sided smirk with more positive than negative words overall. We propose sentiment analytics that can compensate for the strategic management of narrative structure by using a novel weighting scheme to aggregate the within-text net sentiment dynamics into a single proxy for the CEO’s sentiment. Consistent with the presence of CEO incentives to inflate sentiment, we find that the proposed position weighted sentiment is more pessimistic than the traditional equally-weighted sentiment mea- sure and has more predictive power for the firm performance over the next year.

  • February 2016, Wednesday 17 (10:30 am): PORT-RELATED INNOVATION: IS THERE A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS? 
    by Thierry Vanelslander (University of Antwerp)
    Etilux – N1

    Abstract :Innovation in general seems to happen very rapidly these days. However, the poor innovative strength displayed by the transport sector in the broad sense often contrasts strongly with that evidenced elsewhere. At the same time, it can be concluded from existing literature and studies that quite a lot of innovative concepts in transportation have been studied in detail. The main focus hitherto however has always been on inventing or introducing new concepts and procedures.
    First, a typology of different types of innovation is being developed, illustrated with the actual occurrence in practice of each innovation type.
    This paper assesses which innovations will generate which chain impacts, what conditions will conduce actors to innovate, or prevent them from doing so, and finally also what governments can do to stimulate innovation.
    The present paper makes an application to innovation by seaport-related operators through a number of cases. On these cases, a standard set of information is collected. For collecting the information, use is made of existing documents on the cases at hand, on which a scientific review is performed. Equally, sector and project contacts are used for verifying and completing the information. In order to be able to derive meaningful conclusions from the set of cases, the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) technique is used.
    The analysis shows that no unique recipe for innovation success exists, but that sub-groups of cases can be discerned which have common characteristics that consistently lead to innovation success, dealing with the terminal operators, the shipping lines, infrastructure and the innovation champion.
    The findings are particularly relevant for those in business and in policy-making who are involved in implementing or promoting innovation.

  • February 2016, Tuesday 2 (01:30 pm): Vehicle Routing Problems for City Logistics
    by Dr. Diego Cattaruzza (École Centrale de Lille)
    Etilux Room – N1

    Abstract :City Logistics has been introduced to study and understand the transport activities in urban areas. Optimisation of urban delivery planning needs to take into account the dynamics of the city in order to provide efficient services. In nowadays delivery systems it is common to forbid heavy trucks to enter city centers. Trucks are forced to unload at logistic platforms located in the outskirts of the city. Merchandise is then loaded into smaller (and possibly eco-friendly) vehicles in charge of final delivery to customers.
    First we present a survey of the movements of goods that occur in cities. This motivates the study we conducted and the development of optimisation tools for delivery activities in urban areas.
    Second, we introduce the Multi-Trip Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows and Release Dates.
    Routing problems that take into account time windows and multiple delivery trips are commonly studied by the scientific community, especially when applied to the urban context. On the other side, the study of routing problems that consider release dates on the products is not. Here the release date models the instant the merchandise is available at the logistic platform and ready for final dispatching. A genetic procedure is presented to tackle the problem.
    This work was conducted in the context of the MODUM project ( that was founded by the French National Research Agency – ANR.

  • January 2016, Thursday 28 (03:00 pm): The Rise of Self-Tracking: Investigating how consumers embrace new ways to monitor and manage their health with wearable technology 
    by Sven Tuzovic (Queensland University of Technology)
    1715 – N1

    Abstract :Recently, a new movement called “self-tracking” has been emerging: measuring your everyday physiological activities, nutrition and vital signs to improve your quality of life (The Economist 2012). In addition, a growing number of trackers are being used in corporate wellness programs (Nield 2014). Yet, academic research on the adoption and utilization of wearable technology is still non-existent. The purpose of this first study is to investigate the antecedents and effects of consumers’ adoption of fitness trackers. In a next step, we plan to examine how fitness trackers are adopted and utilized as part of corporate wellness programs. Based on literature of TAM, gamification and preventive health care we develop a theoretical model that is then empirically tested. Contributions will be relevant to consumer behavior and services marketing researchers who investigate technology adoption in healthcare and directors of corporate wellness programs who want to implement wearable technology in wellness initiatives.

  • January 2016, Monday 25 (11:00 am): Location, allocation, and routing decisions in an electric car sharing system 
    by Hatice Calik (ULB)
    Etilux – N1

    Abstract :We focus on a one way electric car sharing system where we have a set of customers, each of which requests to travel from an origin point to a destination point at a certain time slot of the day by using the cars available in certain stations of a company. The system under consideration allows customers to leave the cars to a station different than the one that they are taken. The objective of the problem is to decide on the location of the stations and the proportion of the customer trips to be served in the most profitable way. Due to the battery restriction of the cars, a direct routing between the starting and the ending station of some trips might not be feasible. In this case, routing the customer via some intermediary stations provides an effective solution to the problem. The customers can leave the car with depleted battery at an intermediary station for charging and take a fully charged one to continue their trip. This structure requires additional decisions on the routes of the customers (that is, the order of the stations to be visited by customers) and the number of available cars at each station for each time slot. The profit function considers the revenue obtained by serving the selected customers and fixed location or operating cost of the opened stations. We develop flow based and path based mathematical formulations for solving different variations of the problem and conduct computational experiments to evaluate the performance of our models.

  • January 2016, Monday 18 (02:00 pm): Market Timing Ability of Commodity Trading Advisors 
    by Michael Frömmel (Ghent University)
    1701 – N1

    Abstract :It is a mix of two papers currently in progress:
    Paper 1: Duration Dependence, Behavioral Restrictions, and Market Timing Ability of Commodity Trading Advisors (Gert Elaut, Michael Frömmel, Alexander Mende) This paper addresses a conflict occurring in research on market timing abilities: While empirical tests seem to work best on a daily basis, the standard benchmark for a good market timer is incongruent with reality at this sampling frequency, which may be the reason for the ambiguous results in the literature. We therefore adapt the Henriksson-Merton (1981) test for market timing by using a less restrictive assumption on the manager’s objectives. In particular, we relax the assumption that the manager bases its market timing decisions on (monthly) excess returns. Instead, we use results from the literature on bull- and bear markets and test whether the manager can successfully time these trends in financial markets. We make use of a proprietary dataset of daily CTA returns to show that Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), on average, are able to time the bull- and bear markets identified.
    Paper 2: The Crisis Alpha of Managed Futures: Myth or Reality? (Nicolas Dierick, Michael Frömmel, Alexander Mende, Pieterjan Tilleman) We analyze the ability of commodity trading advisors (CTAs), commonly associated with managed futures, to provide investors with important diversification benefits in times of crisis. By developing a systematic identification methodology and employing a unique dataset, we show that managed futures do acquire positive gains in most sector crises that stem from two sources. Firstly, the asset class is diversified across multiple futures markets. As a result, positive yields in other markets are able to counterbalance the lacking performance in the crisis sector. Secondly, the downward adjustment of managed futures exposure to their focus market allows them to put a halt to the fall in their sector performance. Owing to CTAs ability to adjust to a turbulent market environment their sector performance does not weigh down the composite industry’s return throughout crises.

  • December 2015, Friday 11 (01:30 pm): Testing the Wisdom of Crowds in the Field: Transfermarkt Valuations and International Soccer 
    by Thomas Peeters (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Seminaire 10 – B31

    Abstract :In this paper I examine the Wisdom of Crowds (WoC) hypothesis using data on crowd valuations of professional soccer players. I show that a simple prediction model for international soccer results based on crowd valuations outperforms models based on commonly used predictors, such as FIFA rankings and ELO ratings, both in prediction accuracy and monetary terms. I further exploit information on crowd preferences and player characteristics to investigate potential biases in crowd valuations, but fail to find evidence of wishful thinking, availability bias or overvaluation of tall players in the valuations.

  • December 2015, Thursday 3 (02:00 pm): The Political Economy of Financial Innovation: Evidence from Local Governments 
    by Christophe Perignon (HEC Paris – Finance Department)
    Room 220 – N1

    Abstract :We present an empirical investigation of the role of political incentives in the use of innovative financial products. The adoption of structured loans, a high-risk type of borrowing for local governments, is highly correlated with higher incentives for politicians to obtain immediate cash-flows. We also show that using structured loans helps politicians getting re-elected, mainly by allowing them to offer relatively lower taxes. Conversely, structured loan usage is hard to empirically reconcile with politicians’ ex post claim that they do not understand the transactions. Our findings are supportive of financial innovation amplifying agency costs within the political system.
    Joint work with Boris Vallee (Harvard Business School)
    Link to SSRN 

  • December 2015, Thursday 3 (11:00 am): Advanced methods for robust timetabling for the Belgian railway network 
    by Pieter Vansteenwegen (KU Leuven)
    Room 138 – N1

    Abstract :In nearly saturated station areas the limited capacity is one of the main reasons of delay propagation. Spreading the trains well in these areas has a big impact on the total travel time in practice of all passengers in the railway network in case of frequently occurring small delays. We focus on improving the performance in the bottleneck of the network in order to improve the performance of the whole railway network. We propose a heuristic method to improve an existing timetable and also a method that builds from scratch a routing plan and a cyclic timetable that optimally spread the trains in space and time. These methods are applied to a case study of the Brussels’ railway station area, the bottleneck in the Belgian railway system. Both methods are able to improve the timetabling significantly.

  • November 2015, Friday 27 (01:30 pm): Mergers and Collusion with Horizontal Subcontracting 
    by Geert Van Moer (Universiteit Antwerpen)
    Seminaire 10 – B31

    Abstract :Horizontal subcontracting—outsourcing activities to competitors—stifles competition to the extent that subcontractors capture the subcontracting surplus. In our framework, price-competing firms choose the subcontracting terms to maximize profits. A merger does not create cost savings at the industry level because of efficient subcontracting before the merger. It does, however, reduce the merged parties’ in-house costs. Merging is therefore always (i) profitable because it credibly limits the amount paid to subcontractors, and (ii) price-reducing as it decreases outsiders’ profits from subcontracting. Furthermore, subcontracting makes collusion more difficult to sustain, because the static Nash-equilibrium profits after deviation are considerable.

  • November 2015, Friday 20 (01:30 pm): Heterogeneous Cartels and Antitrust Cooperation 
    by Roberto Venturini (ULB)
    Seminaire 10 – B31

    Abstract :The geographic dimension of a cartel (domestic, global or export) affects the ability of antitrust authorities to effectively prosecute colluding firms when legal barriers between different jurisdictions are present. International cooperation agreements in antitrust enforcement are critical to eliminate these barriers, and their adoption is at the center of an important policy debate. This paper studies how an antitrust cooperation agreement can affect the geographic dimension of a cartel. Using a theoretical model, I show that, while antitrust cooperation can be useful to deter the formation of international cartels, firms can also react by switching to a different cartel type. When this happens, there are equilibria in which introducing antitrust cooperation reduces consumer welfare.

  • November 2015, Tuesday 10 (03:00 pm): Forecasting Volatility in Stock Markets: a Volume Filtered GARCH Model 
    by Maxime Bonelli (INRIA (France) and Koris International)
    Room 1701 – N1

    Abstract :In GARCH-type models, no distinction is made between informative and non-informative price variations in the dynamic of variance. This paper develops a Volume Filtered GARCH model incorporating unexpected volume and its impact on stock volatility. This framework allows to isolate non-informed market noise into one component, and simultaneously to capture a filtered variance estimate. The asymmetric and leptokurtic distribution of return depends on the correlation between unexpected volumes and innovations in returns, more likely to be negative. Empirically, the model is selected for all S&P 100 stocks according to standard selection criteria. The model implies more stable variance estimates with no costs in terms of risk management.

  • November 2015, Friday 6 (01:30 pm): An exact algorithm for parallel machine scheduling with conflicts 
    by Roel Leus (KU Leuven)
    Room 034 – N1

    Abstract :We consider an extension of classic parallel machine scheduling, where an undirected conflict graph is part of the input. Each node in the graph represents a job and an edge implies that its two jobs cannot be scheduled on the same machine. The goal is to find an assignment of the jobs to the machines such that the maximum completion time is minimized. We present an exact algorithm based on branch and price.

  • October 2015, Tuesday 27 (11:00 am): Sustainability Reporting as a Tool for Management Control and Organisational Change in Higher Education 
    by K. Ceulemans (KU Leuven)
    Room 1701 – N1

    Abstract :Over the last decades, higher education institutions (HEIs) have been engaged in promoting sustainable development by educating future leaders, decision makers, academics, and politicians, and by integrating sustainability principles into their own daily operations. Despite the array of sustainability initiatives undertaken by HEIs, it is still challenging for their internal and external stakeholders to assess the extent of an HEI’s sustainability integration within its core functions. Some universities have been voluntarily disclosing their efforts of sustainability integration via sustainability reporting, following the upsurge of this type of reporting in the corporate world. While sustainability reporting by corporate organisations has been researched intensively, only a few papers of the recent literature address the public sector, NGOs or HEIs.

  • October 2015, Tuesday 13 (12:45 am): Caring for elderly parents: is it altruism, exchange or family norm 
    by J. Schoenmaeckers (HEC-ULg)
    Séminaire 6 – B31

    Abstract :The purpose of this paper is to test alternative models of long-term caring motives. We consider three main motives: pure altruism, exchange and family norm. Our database is the second wave of SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) which allows to link almost perfectly and with complete information children and their parents’ characteristics. The empirical results seem generally to match the theoretical models developed. It appears clearly that altruism, exchange and family norm all play a role in long-term care caring when Alessie et al. (2014) stress the importance of exchange motive in intergenerational transfers.

  • October 2015, Friday 9 (01:30 pm): Robust Preprocessing for Real-time Combinatorial Optimization
    by Professor Christoph Buchheim (TU Dortmund)
    Room Etilux – N1

    Abstract :We investigate a new concept in robust combinatorial optimization that aims at alleviating the so-called price of robustness: instead of a single solution as in the strictly robust setting, we allow to compute k solutions for a given number k, assuming that we may choose the best one of these solutions once the actual scenario is revealed. The aim is thus to solve a min-max-min problem: find k feasible solutions such that the respective best of them is optimal in the worst case. In a typical application of such an approach, an uncertain combinatorial optimization problem needs to be solved frequently and quickly, e.g., a parcel service needs to solve the same vehicle routing problem every day under changing traffic situations. After a potentially expensive preprocessing phase for computing the k solutions, the best of them can then be chosen very quickly every day once the actual traffic situation is known. We discuss the complexity of the resulting min-max-min problem for convex and (time permitting) discrete uncertainty. In the case of a convex uncertainty set, we show that the latter problem is as easy as the underlying certain problem if k is greater than the number of variables and if we can optimize a linear function over the uncertainty set in polynomial time. In the case of discrete uncertainty with a fixed number of scenarios, we show, among other results, that the problem is weakly NP-hard and admits an FPTAS for the shortest path problem, the minimum spanning tree problem, and the knapsack problem, while it is tractable for the min-cut problem.
    (joint work with Jannis Kurtz)

  • September 2015, Monday 28 (03:00 pm): The systematic price of credit risk 
    by Stéphanie Heck (HEC – University of Liège)
    Room 1701 – N1

    Abstract :Using corporate bond index series over a period of 16 years, we provide a detailed decomposition of a bond’s expected returns. We are able to distinguish between the pre- mium related to systematic default risk and the premium related to the default event. We further analyze the determinants of expected returns and of the identified risk premiums, using variables constructed from credit markets, from stock markets and from moment related risk. The variables successfully explain a large part of the variations in those two premiums, however the signs on the variables are exactly opposed in the explanation of the systematic default risk premium and the default event premium.

  • September 2015, Thursday 10 (10:00 am): How inclusive is inclusive recycling? Recyclers’ perceptions in a cross-sector partnership in Santiago de Chile
    by Michela Giovannini (University of Trento) (Séminaire 6 – B31)