Tianxin Zou

University of Florida professor inducted into prestigious young scholars class for excellence in marketing research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Tianxin Zou, John I. Williams, Jr. Assistant Professor of Marketing, is among the latest class of Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholars. Zou joins a prestigious group of marketing scholars from the University of Florida honored with this award.  

The MSI Young Scholars is a group of 33 early-career faculty who are recognized for excellence in marketing scholarship and are among the most prominent early-career scholars in the world. Zou is the sixth faculty member from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business to join the MSI Young Scholars, including current faculty JCPenney Professor Yang Yang (2019), Brian R. Gamache Professor Woochoel Shin (2017) and City Furniture Professor Aner Sela (2015). 

“This is a high honor for an early-career marketing scholar, and I am very grateful that my work has been well recognized by the marketing field,” Zou shared of the honor.

In early 2024, the latest class of MSI Young Scholars convened in Utah for a retreat to strengthen ties between the early-career researchers and encourage scholarly connection.

“It was such a pleasure to meet with top-notch peer scholars and learn about their fascinating, cutting-edge research,” Zou shared. “Many of them use interdisciplinary methods or come from subfields of marketing that I was not very familiar with, and their research really opened my eyes.”

Zou joined the University of Florida in 2019 as a faculty member in the Warrington College of Business marketing department. His research investigates how new technologies and business models on the internet will reshape firms’ pricing and product strategies. Among his recent research, Zou is seeking to understand how regulators should address self-preferencing, a pressing antitrust problem for large online platforms like Amazon, Google and Apple.

“These platforms have dominant market shares in their respective markets, providing them with market power to favor their own products or services and demote third-party competitors operating on these platforms,” Zou said of his current research.

He is currently conducting a series of studies on how regulators should design antitrust regulations to curb platform self-preferencing in these markets.

“The general finding is that the regulations should be designed very carefully and cleverly to guarantee consumer protection to the best extent,” Zou said. “Blanket bans on platform self-preferencing can lead to unintended market consequences that hurt consumers and third-party merchants.”

In addition to being named an MSI Young Scholar, Zou is the recipient of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Don Lehmann Award, the Alessandro di Fiore Best Paper Award at the 9th Platform Strategy Research Symposium. Zou and co-author Bobby Zhou received the award for their paper, “Competing for recommendations: The strategic impact of personalized product recommendations in online marketplaces.”

Zou earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis and his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and applied mathematics as well as his Bachelor of Arts in economics and finance at Tsinghua University.