The Economics of Bestsellers: Consumer Search, Sales Ranking, and Social Learning | Episode No.27

Workshop’s Topic: Motivated by major e-commerce platforms’ diverse practices in bestseller information provision, this paper examines consumers’ learning, searching, and purchasing behavior under uncertainty about products’ values. We find that a bestseller list constitutes an informative, and yet noisy, signal about the products’ values. The informativeness of the signal is determined by the granularity of the bestseller information. By evaluating bestseller information of two levels of granularity, sales ranking and sales volume, we discover that the platform may withhold some information at the cost of consumers. This paper is a joint work with Wentao Lu.

Time and Location: 9:30-11:00 AM (GMT+8), Room A523 (School of Management)

Language: Bilingual (Chinese and English)

Introduction of Speakers

Prof. MAN Yu

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, School of Business


MAN Yu is a Professor in Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management (ISOM) at the HKUST business school. She received her PhD in Business Administration from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and her B.S. and M.S. in Management Science from School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University. Her research interests include pricing and revenue management with explicit modeling of consumer behavior, interfaces of operations and marketing, and supply chain management.