Prof. Feng TIAN
Innovation and Information Management
Assistant Professor

3917 4463

KK 1312

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • PhD in Technology and Operations, University of Michigan
  • Master in Economics, Duke University
  • Bachelor in Economics, Nankai University

Feng Tian received his Ph.D. degree in Technology and Operations from Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on dynamic mechanism design and applications of game theory.

  • MSBA7004 Operations Analytics
  • IIMT2641 Introduction to business analytics
Research Interest
  • Mechanism design
  • Information design
  • Applied game theory
  • Sustainability
  • Stochastic Modeling
Selected Publications
  • “Optimal Contract to Induce Continued Effort”, with Peng Sun, Management Science, 64(9), pp. 4193-4217, 2018.
  • “Optimal Contract for Machine Repair and Maintenance”, with Peng Sun and Izak Duenyas, Operations Research, 69(3), pp. 916-949, 2021.
  • “Comment on ‘Optimal Contract to Induce Continued Effort’ “, with Ping Cao and Peng Sun, Management Science, 68(1), pp. 796-808, 2022.
  • “Punish Underperformance with Suspension: Optimal Dynamic Contracts in the Presence of Switching Cost”, with Ping Cao and Peng Sun, Management Science, forthcoming.
Recent Publications
Punish Underperformance with Suspension: Optimal Dynamic Contracts in the Presence of Switching Cost

This paper studies a dynamic principal–agent setting in which the principal needs to dynamically schedule an agent to work or be suspended. When the agent is directed to work and exert effort, the arrival rate of a Poisson process is increased, which increases the principal’s payoff. Suspension, on the other hand, serves as a threat to the agent by delaying future payments. A key feature of our setting is a switching cost whenever the suspension stops and the work starts again. We formulate the problem as an optimal control model with switching and fully characterize the optimal control policies/contract structures under different parameter settings. Our analysis shows that, when the switching cost is not too high, the optimal contract demonstrates a generalized control-band structure. The length of each suspension episode, on the other hand, is fixed. Overall, the optimal contract is easy to describe, compute, and implement.