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), Member at the Group for Research in Decision Analysis (GERAD), and Affiliate Member at the McGill Bensadoun School of Retail Management (BSRM).

His main research interests are in big data and machine learning, health and wellness, behavioral science, retail, 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 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. His most recent research attempts to blend together behavioral science, big data, and machine learning to help nudge people towards healthier lifestyles.

His research has been published (or is forthcoming) 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., MSI, IVADO, SSHRC IDG, NET Institute). 

Tenured & Tenure Track
Research areas: 
Behavioural Science
Big Data & Machine Learning
Empirical Industrial Organization
Health & Wellness
Selected publications: 

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

Under Review

1. Khwaja, Ahmed, and Nathan Yang (2018), Quantifying the Link Between Employee Engagement and Customer Satisfaction in the Car Rental Industry [pdf] [2nd revision requested from Marketing Science]

2. Nishida, Mitsukuni, and Nathan Yang (2018), Strategic Franchising in Retail: Evidence from the Convenience-Store Industry [pdf] [1st revision requested from Journal of Marketing Research]

3. 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]

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

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

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

Working Papers

1. Christodoulopoulos, Steve, and Nathan Yang (2018), Identifying Brand Cheerleaders in an Electronic Health Platform [pdf]

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

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

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

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

6. 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 Consistent Behavior: Tracking and Predicting User Engagement on a Mobile Weight Loss Application

2. Ishihara, Masakazu, Yu Ma, and Nathan Yang (2018), What Makes an Expert? User Review Helpfulness and Playtime Experience in an Online Video Game Platform

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

7. Güneş, Evrim, Xitong Guo, Beibei Li, Yu Ma, and Nathan Yang (2018), Analysis of Reference Points in an mHealth Application

8. Uetake, Kosuke, and Nathan Yang (2018), Estimating a Dynamic Model with Reference Points: An Empirical Application Using Deep Instrumental Variable Networks