David Bell

Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor, Professor of Marketing


Professor Bell is an expert in consumer shopping behavior. His current research focuses on theories and explanations for geographic variation in the performance of Internet retail startups. Startups studied include,, and Recent articles explain the effect of physical location on customer acquisition, contagion effects among co-located consumers, and the effect of preference isolation on online demand. Other projects focused on traditional retail settings explore unplanned and impulse buying, and consumer amortization strategies for fixed shopping costs. Previous articles explained consumer store choice among retailers with different pricing strategies, the effect of reference point formation on consumer response to promotions, and the effect of structural factors (e.g., dwelling size) on consumer shopping strategies. Professor Bell’s research is published in all of the premier academic marketing journals: Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Marketing Science, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. He has won several teaching and research awards, including the MBA Core Curriculum Award, Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, MBA for Executives Excellence in Teaching Award, the Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award, three John D.C. Little Best Paper Finalist Awards, and two INFORMS Marketing Science Long Term Impact Finalist Awards. Professor Bell teaches Marketing Management in the Wharton MBA and MBA for Executives Programs and Empirical Modeling in PhD program. He also teaches an elective course Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce on both the Wharton | Philadelphia and Wharton | San Francisco campuses. He is the Academic Director for Wharton’s Advanced Management Program. Professor Bell serves as an expert witness in intellectual property matters pertaining to individual choice behavior. Recent representative cases include Sky Technologies LLP v. SAP, Individual Network LLC v. Apple Inc., and Two-Way Media LLC v. America Online, Inc. (on behalf of the plaintiff; retained by Susman Godfrey) and Power Management Solutions LLC v. Intel Corporation (on behalf of the defendant; retained by WilmerHale).