Nathan Yang

Assistant Professor, Marketing
Contact Information
Email address: 
nathan.yang3 [at]
Alternate email address: [at]
suzanne.sellitto [at]

Bronfman Building [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


PhD, Economics, University of Toronto
MA, Economics, University of Toronto
BSc, Mathematics, University of Alberta


Curriculum Vitae

Nathan Yang is an Assistant Professor in Marketing at McGill Desautels Faculty of Management. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative (CIREQ), Researcher at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations (CIRANO), Academic Member at the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), Faculty Associate at the Canadian Centre for Health Economics (CCHE), and Associate Member at the Group for Research in Decision Analysis (GERAD). Nathan received his Ph.D and M.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto, where his doctoral studies were funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), as well as the NET Institute summer research grant. Prior to his graduate studies, he received a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Alberta.

His main research interests are in quantitative marketing, health/nutrition, behavioral economics, and empirical industrial organization. Much of his earlier work aims to gain a better understanding about market expansion strategies in various retail sectors (e.g., convenience stores, fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants), whereby market expansion is a key instrument to grow a retailer's brand, and ultimately, sales. In particular, he is interested in investigating firm strategies that involve some level of managerial foresight, such as decisions related to learning-from-competitors, preemptive entry, franchising mix, and learning-by-doing. In addition to retailer expansion strategies, he has worked on (or is currently working on) projects that focus on various aspects of customer relationship management in a diverse set of industries, including appliances, bike sharing, car rentals, fast fashion, loan markets, social media, large international commercial weight loss programs, mobile weight loss apps, and video games. Furthermore, his most recent research attempts to blend together behavioral science, big data, and machine learning to help nudge people towards healthier lifestyles that they can stick to. Finally, he also contributes to methodological innovation by applying (as well as developing) the newest computer vision, structural econometric, quasi-experimental, and deep/machine/statistical learning techniques in his research.

His research has been published (or is forthcoming/conditionally-accepted) in Marketing Science, Management Science, Quantitative Economics, International Journal of the Economics of Business, and the Review of Network Economics, and has been widely cited by popular press, including The Economist, Financial Times, and LA Times. He has secured numerous grants to fund his research (e.g., SSHRC IDG, NET Institute). 

Tenured & Tenure Track
Selected publications: 

1. Uetake, Kosuke, and Nathan Yang (2018), Inspiration from the "Biggest Loser": Social Interactions in a Weight Loss Program, Marketing Science, conditionally accepted [link]

2. Blevins, Jason, Ahmed Khwaja, and Nathan Yang (2017), Firm Expansion, Size Spillovers and Market Dominance in Retail Chain Dynamics, Management Science, Articles in Advance [link] [code]

3. Igami, Mitsuru, and Nathan Yang (2016), Unobserved Heterogeneity in Dynamic Games: Cannibalization and Preemptive Entry of Hamburger Chains in Canada, Quantitative Economics, 7 (2), 483-521 [link] [code] [Selected media coverage: The Economist, Financial Times]

4. Yang, Nathan (2012), Burger King and McDonald's: Where's the Spillover? International Journal of the Economics of Business, 19 (2), 255-281 [link] [Featured in 20 Years of IJEB collection] [Highlighted in IJEB 21st Anniversary Call for Papers]

5. Chi, Feng, and Nathan Yang (2011), Twitter Adoption in Congress, Review of Network Economics, 10 (3), 1-44 [link] [data] [Selected media coverage: LA Times, Chicago Tribune, New Republic]

Current research: 

Working Papers or Under Review

1. Uetake, Kosuke, and Nathan Yang (2018), Harnessing the Small Victories: Empirical Evidence from a Calorie and Weight Loss Tracking Application [pdf] [Selected media coverage: Les Affaires]

2. Ergin, Elcin, Mehmet Gumus, and Nathan Yang (2018), The Spread of Scarcity: An Empirical Analysis of Intra-Firm Product Substitutability in Fashion Retailing [pdf]

3. Yang, Nathan (2018), Learning in Retail Entry [pdf]

4. Yang, Nathan (2018), Characterizing Risks and Returns in Retail Entry [pdf

5. Yang, Nathan (2015), Non-Monotonic Entry and Preemptive Motives [pdf]

6. Khwaja, Ahmed, and Nathan Yang (2018), Quantifying the Link Between Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction in the Car Rental Industry [pdf

7. Nishida, Mitsukuni, and Nathan Yang (2017), Better Together? Evaluating Unobserved Factors behind a Merger in the Convenience Store Industry [pdf]

8. Nishida, Mitsukuni, and Nathan Yang (2017), Strategic Franchising in Expansion: Evidence from the Convenience-Store Industry [pdf]

9. Fang, Limin, and Nathan Yang (2016), Aggressive Growth in Retail: A Trade-off Between Deterrence and Survival? [pdf]

10. K. Sudhir, and Nathan Yang (2015), Exploiting the Choice-Consumption Mismatch: A New Approach to Disentangle State Dependence and Heterogeneity [pdf]

11. K. Sudhir, Ishani Tewari, and Nathan Yang (2015), Durables Adoption across Categories in Emerging Markets [pdf]

Ongoing Projects

1. Hagen, Linda, Yikun Jiang, Bärbel Knäuper, Kosuke Uetake, and Nathan Yang (2018), The Antecedents of Good Habits: Tracking and Predicting User Engagement on a Mobile Weight Loss Application

2. Ishihara, Masakazu, Yu Ma, and Nathan Yang (2017), Dynamics in Video Game Consumption

3. Pan, Qi, Nathan Yang, and Pinar Yildirim (2016), Price Discrimination and Location Strategies in a Bike Sharing Network

4. Fang, Limin, Demetrios Vakratsas, and Nathan Yang (2016), A Brewing Coffee Cartel: Uncovering the Market Sharing Strategies of the Canadian Coffee Chain Industry

5. Cosman, Jacob, and Nathan Yang (2017), The Impact of Municipal Restrictions on Retail Chain Expansion

6. Wang, Kitty, and Nathan Yang (2018), Uncovering Product Design Strategies Using Computer Vision