Ph.D. in Economics, London School of Economics
MSc. in Economics, London School of Economics
B.A. in Economics, Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University
Dr. Wu is Associate Professor of Economics and of Management and Strategy at the University of Hong Kong and the Associate Director of Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation. He is also a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR, London) and a non-residential Fellow of the 21 Century China Center at UC San Diego. Prior to HKU, he was Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. His primary research interest is media economics, in which he has studied how social media affects economic performance, policy making, and consumer behavior in China. Another stream of his research focuses on creative production in the digital economy and the welfare implications of AI-guided economic activities. Recently, he has collaborated with data scientists to apply cutting-edge big data methods to various areas in the social sciences. His work has been published at top economics, management, and statistics journals, including the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Management Science, and Organization Science.
- Economics of Organization and Strategy (PhD, Master)
- Managerial Economics (MBA)
- Causal Inference (Undergraduate)
- Big Data Economics (Undergraduate)
- Media Economics, Organizational Economics, Development Economics, Chinese Economy, Big Data and Computational Social Science
- Street-level responsiveness of city governments in China, Germany, and the United States (with Ekkehard Köhler and John G Matsusaka), Journal of Comparative Economics, 51(2): 640-652, June, (2023).
- Competition, Contracts, and Creativity: Evidence from Novel Writing in a Platform Market (with Feng Zhu), Management Science, 68(12): 8613-8634, December, (2022).
- Intentional Control of Type I Error Over Unconscious Data Distortion: A Neyman-Pearson Approach to Text Classification (with Lucy Xia, Richard Zhao and Xin Tong), Journal of the American Statistical Association, 116(533): 68-81, March, (2021).
- Media Bias in China (with Bei Qin and David Strӧmberg), American Economic Review, 108(9): 2442-76, September, (2018).
- Incentive Contracts and the Allocation of Talent, Economic Journal, 127(607): 2744-2783, December, (2017).
- Authority, Incentives and Performance: Evidence from a Chinese Newspaper, Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(1): 16-31, March, (2017).
- Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda (with Bei Qin and David Strӧmberg), Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(1): 117-40 (2017).
- Organizational Structure and Product Choice in Knowledge Intensive Firms, Management Science, 61(8): 1830-1848 (2015).
- Knowledge, Communication and Organizational Capabilities (with Luis Garicano), Organization Science, 23(5):1382-1397 (2012).
- Hong Kong GRF Grant (No. 17500321), PI, 2021-2024
- European Research Council Advanced Grant, Co-PI, 2018-2022
- USC Marshall Outlier Research Fund, PI, 2016-2018
- USC Greif Entrepreneurship Research Award, 2014
- Vincent Cheng Scholarship (LSE), 2007-2010
- Chevening Scholarship (British Council), 2003-2004
A growing number of people today are participating in the gig economy, working as independent contractors on short-term projects. We study the effects of competition on gig workers’ effort and creativity on a Chinese novel-writing platform. Authors produce and sell their works chapter by chapter under a revenue-sharing or pay-by-the-word contract with the platform. Exploiting a regulation that induced a massive entry of novels in the romance genre but not other genres, we find that, on average, intensified competition led authors to produce content more quickly, whereas its effect on book novelty was weak. However, revenue-sharing books responded to competition substantially more than pay-by-the-word books, particularly regarding novelty. Moreover, the effect of competition on novelty is considerably stronger for books at earlier stages of the product life cycle. Finally, the platform increased the promotion of contracted books, which disproportionately favored pay-by-the-word books. We discuss the implications of these results for creative workers, platform firms, and policy makers in the gig economy.