Title: Gender-Based Operational Issues Arising from On-Demand Ride-Hailing Platforms: Safety Concerns and System Configuration
Time: 10 am, October 9, 2019
Venue: Room 101, Building 22, Wushan Campus
Introduction to the speaker:
Yulan Wang is currently an associate professor in the Department of the Logistics and Maritime Studies at Faculty of Business of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She received her Ph.D degree in Business Administration from Duke University. She obtained both her BS and MS degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her research work has been published in leading academic journals such as Management Science, Operations Research, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Naval Research Logistics, European Journal of Operational Research and others. Dr. Wang’s research interests include supply chain management, sustainability operations, and the behavioral issues in operations management. She serves as the senior editor for Production and Operations Management and the associate editor for Omega. She is the editorial review board member for Production and Operations Management and the editorial advisory board member for Transportation Research - Part E.
A critical problem associated with ride-hailing platforms is safety for female users (riders and drivers). One way to resolve or at least alleviate this problem is to migrate from the commonly adopted gender-neutral “pooling" system that matches riders with drivers without considering gender to a "hybrid" system with a female-only option. We show that in a pooling system, the marginal improvement in the platform's profit increases with the safety confidence on the rider demand side but diminishes with the safety confidence on the driver supply side. Therefore, platforms should improve female riders' safety confidence as much as possible while ensuring that female drivers' safety confidence is sufficiently high. Interestingly, we demonstrate that increasing driver safety confidence may not lead to more female riders joining the pooling system. We find that in a hybrid system, flexibility should not be fully granted to female drivers because it can jeopardize the efficiency of the system. Switching from a pooling system to a hybrid system can result in a win-win outcome on the two most important goals, increasing the accessibility for safety-concerned female users and improving the platform's profitability. Our results provide a plausible explanation for the adoption of different systems in countries with differing levels of female safety.