Decision Science Digest: November 9, 2021


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

Decision Science Digest: November 9, 2021

BALTIMORE, MD, November 9, 2021 –

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Decision Science Digest is a periodic communique highlighting recent peer-reviewed research published by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences, across its 17 journals. This issue highlights four press releases based on the findings of new peer-reviewed articles.

  • New research examines the role of water scarcity on manufacturing operations and what it means for the environment (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • New research illustrates the influence of product reviews, both past and present, on current sales (INFORMS journal Management Science)
  • New research shows multi-use video game consoles can increase industry profits and benefits from used game market (INFORMS journal Information Systems Research)
  • New research examines the effects of immediate feedback on driver safety (INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management)


The Positive Impact of Water Scarcity on Manufacturing Operations and the Environment

It’s no secret that manufacturing operations can affect the environment, but new research in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds water scarcity influences manufacturing firms, increasing the likelihood they lower their toxic releases to the environment. The analysis in the paper, “Does Water Scarcity Affect Environmental Performance? Evidence from Manufacturing Facilities in Texas,” shows that manufacturing facilities reduce their toxic releases into the environment when they have experienced drought conditions in the previous year. The researchers found water scarcity compels manufacturing facilities to lower their toxic releases into media other than water (i.e., land or air). Facilities that release toxics to water undertake more technical and input modifications to their manufacturing processes when they face water scarcity. Link to full article.

The Importance of Past Product Reviews on Sales of Newer Product Models

When consumers search online for a product, they encounter reviews for previous models of the same product. New research in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds positive reviews of the previous generation product increase current model sales; however, positive reviews for the current generation product have a negative impact on previous generation sales. In the paper, “History Matters: The Impact of Online Customer Reviews Across Product Generations,” the researchers find positive reviews of the previous generation product become even more influential as the uncertainty in reviews for the current generation increases and when the current generation review rating is high. Link to full article.

New Research Finds Multi-use Video Game Consoles Increase Industry Profits, Benefits from Used Game Market

The video game industry has a robust secondhand market for games, but some gaming-console companies want to shut it down. New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research finds that decision can be costly. The study, “Manufacturer’s 1-Up from Used Games: Insights from the Secondhand Market for Video Games,” finds that if gaming consoles provide additional value outside of playing games, the used-game market improves the manufacturer’s profit, consumer surplus and social welfare. Additionally, manufacturers also benefit from consumers selling and buying used games if the value of the console increases. For systems with no consoles, or consoles have no dual value, it’s more cost efficient to shut down the secondhand market. Link to full article. 

The Impact of Immediate Feedback: Drivers Should Only Hear the Negative

The tracking of user behavior is becoming common practice. We see this in automotive telematics, accessing data to determine driving behavior and sending the information to insurance companies. But does this real-time feedback help or hinder drivers? New research in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management finds on average, users’ driving performance after they review detailed feedback is nearly 15% worse than that of users who do not review their detailed feedback. The data showed that drivers just below the insurance-incentive thresholds exert greater effort following immediate feedback. The study, “Does Immediate Feedback Make You Not Try as Hard? A Study on Automotive Telematics,” concludes drivers should receive only strong negative feedback to improve their performance. Link to full article. 



INFORMS is the largest association for the decision and data sciences, representing thousands of professionals and students from around the world who leverage and innovate the science and technology of decision making to save lives, save money and solve problems.




Ashley Smith