Postdoctoral researcher with possibility of tenure as assistant professor (Q22)

The Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (GTK) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) invites applications for two full-time postdoctoral research positions at the Quantitative Social and Management Sciences Research Centre starting in the fall of 2023 at the latest.

Research Fields of interest: Game Theory, Evolutionary Game Theory, Signalling Theory, Reciprocity Theory, Economic Theory, Industrial Organization, Management, Platform Economics, Production Management, Operations Research, Social Choice Theory, Sustainable Development, Energy Economics, Apportionment, Network- and Experimental Economics and other quantitative fields and topics.
Applicants should have a PhD degree before taking up the position. The duration of the postdoctoral positions is three years. During this time, postdocs have the possibility to get involved in the teaching and other activities of the various departments and obtain tenure there: we expect to have 1 or more openings in 2026. We offer favourable conditions regarding research facilities, data access, time devoted to research, travel support, etc. While the position is research only, there will be opportunities to teach at the graduate level.
The Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences is the youngest faculty of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, comprising various departments and study programmes. BME is a widely-acclaimed institute of technology and the world’s oldest technical university celebrating its 240th academic year.

Application Procedure
: Interviews will be conducted virtually 12-15 December 2022. Applications consisting of a motivation letter, CV, 3 referee letters and the job market paper must be submitted online at http://www.econjobmarket.org.
Deadline: The search amongst applicants will start on 15 November 2022 and continues until the positions are filled. For the job market, only applications received no later than 5 December 2022 will be considered.
Further information: Questions, but not applications, can be sent to egervari.zsuzsanna.@gtk.bme.hu.

Aslan Fatma receives OTKA postdoctoral grant

Title of project: Complex Collective Decision Problems: 

Summary: 

Theories of allocations deal with the problem of allocating a set of goods (objects) between a set of individuals given the agents’ preferences over the possible outcomes. In most real-life allocation problems, a central planner implements a mechanism by collecting information about the agents’ preferences. Some practical examples are the reallocation of dorm rooms to students by the housing office of a university, the decision of which patients will receive kidneys by the health authorities, and the allocation of teachers to public schools by the ministry of education.  

The problem is how to aggregate agents’ announced preferences to achieve a collective decision (i.e., a final allocation) that respects certain desired criteria. This project investigates allocation problems of purely indivisible goods with complex outcomes where complexity stems from some interdependencies in preferences. 

Although the results are applicable to other settings with similar structures, a natural application this project considers is the (re)assignment problem of teachers to public schools. The interdependencies in individuals’ preferences come from the fact that there is a significant proportion of couples in the population of teachers; each partner cares not only about the “quality” of her new position but also about how far this position is from her partner’s.  

In this project, we aim to (i) design new reallocation mechanisms for public school teachers whose objective is to comply with the couples’ concern about the proximity; (ii) empirically quantify the gains these mechanisms would bring in a real-life teacher assignment setting. 

About the Grant: 

The “OTKA” postdoctoral excellence program (PD_22) granted support to early-stage researchers with doctoral degrees to help them to stay in research and build a career by joining a research group and cooperating with experienced researchers in Hungary for a period of three years. This year, applicants submitted 301 project proposals with a total of HUF 8 billion in request, and 4 projects in Economics have been decided to support. 

https://nkfih.gov.hu/palyazoknak/nkfi-alap/tamogatott-projektek-pd22

Robert Somogyi receives OTKA young researcher grant

Robert Somogyi’s OTKA young researcher (FK_22) project is titled ‘Pricing and regulation in the digital economy’. The main goal of this research project is the analysis of pricing practices in the digital world. The Internet is playing an ever more important role in our lives. In this research project, we investigate hidden fees on online price-comparison websites on the one hand, and the social welfare effects of the special market structure of some online platforms on the other hand. The importance of the first topic lies in the fact that many online platforms use hidden fees, which can reduce consumer welfare in the presence of naive consumers. In addition, we find in our preliminary results that the presence of online platforms makes shrouding incentives stronger. Therefore competition authorities worried about hidden fees should be especially worried about the presence of online intermediaries. The importance of the second topic was highlighted for example by the public debate about Facebook switching off news content by Australian news websites for a few days in February 2021. Through a series of research papers, we first aim to understand price-setting in digital markets, and second, we aim to compare different policy interventions to protect consumers when needed in these markets.

https://nkfih.gov.hu/palyazoknak/nkfi-alap/tamogatott-projektek-fk22

30 August: Dhandabani S (QSMS seminar)

The QSMS Research Group (BME) will be hosting two seminars this August 2022. One-to-one meetings with the speakers can be arranged; please contact the seminar organizers, Dr. Noémie Cabau (cabau.noemie@gtk.bme.hu) and Dr. Arseniy Samsonov (samsonov.arseniy@gtk.bme.hu).  

Dhandabani S from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Decision Engineering Lab, Department of Management Studies) will be presenting his paper Modeling interactions between vertically cooperative and horizontally competitive newsvendor on the 30th of August 2022 at 4PM, Room QA406. 

Abstract:  Consider a market served by both the supplier and the retailer, a typical example of a dual-channel supply chain. Supplier holds a fixed number of perishable inventories and shares them with the retailer for better reach. Also, because of the price matching guarantee, both the parties agree on a uniform retail price for customers, and it is set by the supplier along with the wholesale price. We assume that both the parties are profit-maximising newsvendors, i.e., retailer and supplier are quantity-setting and price-setting newsvendors, respectively. However, given the nature of the setting, their decisions are dependent on each other. As a result, none of them can control the environment solely and both set out to maximise their own profits, which calls for a game-theoretic perspective on the coopetitive (vertically cooperative and horizontally competitive) two-newsvendor setting. We model the interactions between the supplier and retailer as a Stackelberg game, with the supplier being the leader and the retailer being the follower. Given the price[1]sensitive nature of the demand, the retailer estimates her optimal quantity as a function of retail and wholesale prices as a function of the reaction curve. Exploiting the backward induction, the supplier leverages the retailer’s optimal quantity to base its pricing decisions. As the optimal solution becomes intractable for a generic demand uncertainty, focusing only on additive demand uncertainty, we derive sufficient optimality conditions for the supplier’s profit function to be concave with respect to both the retail and wholesale prices. Furthermore, we compute the best feasible set of quantity and price points that satisfy the already established restrictions and assumptions. Finally, extensive sensitivity analysis of the model parameters yields the following several managerial insights, out of which a few novel and counterintuitive are as follows: (i) supplier’s expected profit decreases with the capacity, (ii) the more the variation, supplier’s gain increases whereas retailer’s gain decreases, (iii) with a highly sensitive market, both the parties’ profits decrease, and (iv) retailer’s profit is concave with respect to the market potential. 

23 August: Mikhail Freer (QSMS seminar)

The QSMS Research Group (BME) will be hosting two seminars this August 2022. One-to-one meetings with the speakers can be arranged; please contact the seminar organizers, Dr. Noémie Cabau (cabau.noemie@gtk.bme.hu) and Dr. Arseniy Samsonov (samsonov.arseniy@gtk.bme.hu).  

Mikhail Freer from the University of Essex (Department of Economics) will be presenting his paper Constitutional Design (co-authored with César Martinelli) on the 23rd of August 2022 at 4PM, Room QA406.  

Abstract: Constitution is the cornerstone of any democracy: defining both the basic rights of citizens and the rules of the political process. However, most political economy literature frequently overlooks the constitution as a whole, focusing on bargaining between legislator and executive. This paper expands the scope and considers all three branches of power in the constitutional mechanism. First, we show that the constitutional mechanism (even with the accountability of the executive and legislator) cannot be credible without the presence of the “fourth power” (civic society). However, this fourth power is not directly governed by the constitution, and to restore the credibility of the constitution, the two key features are (1) society is affected by the outcomes of legislative bargaining, and (2) the judiciary is responsive to public opinion. However, these features are not enough to restore the “efficiency” of the constitution; to do so, we need to ensure that society does not stop pressuring the government with just the resignation of the corresponding official but gets a more direct involvement in the further legislative bargaining. 

Koltai’s paper published in The Int. J. Manag. Educ.

The paper titled “Performance evaluation of teams in business simulation games with weight restricted data envelopment analysis models.” (joint with Tamás, A.) has been published in The International Journal of Management Education.

Business simulation games are widely used in higher education, management training, and executive management development programmes. The evaluation of the performance of participants is generally subjective and is based on the trainer’s perception of the importance of several evaluation criteria. In this paper, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is proposed for such evaluation. Input-oriented constant return-to-scale DEA models are used for evaluating the performance of teams participating in business simulation games (BSG). A car engine manufacturing game played by MBA master students is used to illustrate the proposed method. Weight restrictions are applied to obtain efficiency scores which can be used as an alternative to financial measures. The relationship between the efficiency measure and the financial measure is statistically analyzed. The main conclusion of the presented research is that if weight restriction parameters are properly set, DEA results can provide reliable and detailed information about participants’ performance, about the shortcomings of decisions made during the games, and about possible ways to improve performance.

The paper presents the first application of DEA in the area of performance evaluation in BSG, consequently it can be considered a significant extension of the DEA application domain.

Koltai, T. and Tamás, A. (2022). Performance evaluation of teams in business simulation games with weight restricted data envelopment analysis models. The International Journal of Management Education, Volume 20, Issue 3, p. 17.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijme.2022.100688