Behavioral Pricing in the Platform Economy


Special issue of Decision Sciences; Deadline 1 Apr 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Haipeng Chen

Special Issue Call for Papers

Behavioral Pricing in the Platform Economy

Submission deadline extended to April 1, 2021

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Subodha Kumar, Temple University,
Dr. Haipeng (Allan) Chen, University of Kentucky,
Dr. Yulan (Amanda) Wang, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,


The rapid growth of the platform economy has spawned many innovative business models that have dramatically altered consumers’ lifestyles and the business ecology (Chen et al., 2020). Such business models include those related to resource sharing (e.g., Airbnb, Didi, YardClub), social e-commerce (e.g., Pinduoduo, Aikucun), crowdsourcing and crowdfunding (e.g., LiveOps, LendingClub), and online delivery (e.g., Deliveroo, The platform economy has become even more critical during the COVID-19 global pandemic. According to the Accenture COVID-19 Consumer Report conducted in April 2020, consumers have greatly increased their usage of the platforms during the pandemic.1 Visitors to Amazon’s website hit 2.54 billion for the month of March 2020, a 65% jump compared to the same period in 2019. The Walmart Grocery app witnessed record downloads representing 460% growth amid COVID-19.2

Compared to the traditional models, the platform-based business models exhibit distinctive features, including (1) the use of information technologies to facilitate transactions, (2) the improvisation of supply chain flows through digitization, (3) the collection and exploitation of big data through the implementation of advanced technologies such as AI and IoT, and (4) the intensification of network effects among platform users. For these reasons, the platform economy has provided firms with many new business opportunities, allowing firms to incorporate descriptive (vs. prescriptive) consumer/customer behaviors into their decisions.

In this Special Issue, we focus on the impact of the platform economy on behavioral pricing, for multiple reasons. First and foremost, pricing decisions are at the intersection of research in marketing, supply chain, operations, and information systems. The online platforms are reshaping both the demand and supply sides of transactions, providing firms with granular levels of data to integrate behavioral insights into their pricing and inventory decisions.



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Second, the evolution of online platforms is also engendering new social and moral-hazard issues, with pricing at the center of many of these issues. For example, e-commerce platforms such as Pinduoduo provide discounts to consumers during the checkout stage if they invite friends from social networking platforms to “bargain” for their purchase. Price discrimination via big data and subsidy-fueled but capital-draining platforms (e.g., ofo, TrustBuddy, and Ezubao) may impact consumers’ choices, exacerbate social injustice, and create environment- and sustainability-related damages.

Third, the online platforms may amplify problems of traditional offline markets such as infringement, counterfeiting, and propaganda due to intensified competition and the resultant aggressive pricing. According to the report from Wang and Armstrong (2017), for example, more than 50% of goods sold on Taobao are fake or infringe on various intellectual properties.

Topics of Interest

 The main objective of this Special Issue is to invite academics in marketing, supply chain, operations, information systems, and allied fields to contribute to a better understanding of new, unique, and challenging behavioral pricing issues arising in the platform economy. We seek papers that study issues that have an impact on firms’ marketing, supply chain, operations, and information strategies in the platform economy. Submissions should be inter-disciplinary by nature, and those that adopt multi- methodologies, including analytical, empirical, simulation, and behavioral approaches, are strongly encouraged. We are open to papers that explore a variety of research questions to advance our knowledge of the platform economy, provide better decision support for firms, and enhance consumer welfare.

Appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovative pricing and supply chain management strategies in the platform
  • New insights for firms’ marketing, operations, and information system management derived from incorporating cutting-edge behavioral insights into firms’ pricing
  • Pricing and bundling strategies in multi-echelon supply chains in the platform
  • Impact of big data analytics and social networks on pricing strategies in the platform economy.
  • Nascent consumer/customer behaviors in the platform economy in response to firms’ pricing strategies and tactics and their managerial
  • New data sources to showcase a better understanding of firms’ pricing strategies and tactics and consumer’/customers’ perceptions of, reactions to, and participation in pricing in the platform

The list is short and general on purpose, to encourage potential authors to adopt a variety of perspectives in approaching their research topics. The Special Issue co-editors welcome authors to contact them directly to discuss other possible topics for their suitability to the Special Issue. However, all submissions must fit the Journal’s goal statements. Pure literature reviews are beyond our consideration. All submissions will go through the same rigorous review process as regular submissions to the Journal.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission

To prepare manuscripts, authors are asked to closely follow the

Author Guidelines and Manuscript Preparation Guide pt%20Preparation%20Guide_April%2022%202020.docx

Papers should be submitted via the Manuscript Central portal ( no later than April 1, 2021 and designated as a “Special Issue” manuscript. In Step 1 of the submission, authors should select “Special Issue” when asked to select an “appropriate department,” and then select Professor Haipeng (Allan) Chen as editor in Step 5. Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor should they be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Any inquiries should be addressed to: Dr. Haipeng (Allan) Chen, University of Kentucky,

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline for initial submissions: April 1,
  • First-round decisions on all submitted manuscripts: August 1,
  • Submission deadline for invited revisions: January 1,
  • Final decisions: May 1,


Chen, Y.J., Dai, T., Korpeoglu, C.G., Korpeoglu, E., Sahin, O., Tang, C.S., et al. (2020). Innovative online platforms: Research opportunities. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, forthcoming.

Wang, Y., & Armstrong, P. (2017, March 10). Is Alibaba doing enough to fight fakes? Forbes. Available at fakes/#2c963ffa5587.