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Menu Pricing and Learning

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  • Alessandro Bonatti
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    Abstract

    We analyze the design of dynamic menus to sell experience goods. The quality of the product is initially unknown, and the total quantity sold in each period determines the amount of information in the market. We characterize the optimum menu as a function of consumers' beliefs, and the dynamic adjustments resulting from the diffusion of information. The firm faces a dynamic trade-off between gains from trade, information production, and information rents. It initially charges lower prices, sacrificing short-term revenue to increase sales. As more information is revealed, prices increase, and low-valuation buyers are excluded, even when the product's quality is high. (JEL D42, D82, D83, L12)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 124-63

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:124-63

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.124
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    Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-micro
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    References

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    1. Boone, Jan & Shapiro, Joel, 2006. "Selling to Consumers with Endogenous Types," CEPR Discussion Papers 5862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. M. Tolga Akçura & Füsun F. Gönül & Elina Petrova, 2004. "Consumer Learning and Brand Valuation: An Application on Over-the-Counter Drugs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 156-169, April.
    3. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "Monopoly pricing in the binary herding model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 203-241, November.
    4. David J. Braden & Shmuel S. Oren, 1994. "Nonlinear Pricing to Produce Information," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 310-326.
    5. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    6. Dutta, Prajit K., 1991. "What do discounted optima converge to?: A theory of discount rate asymptotics in economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 64-94, October.
    7. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2006. "Dynamic Competition with Experience Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 37-66, 03.
    8. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1998. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Game Theory and Information 9801001, EconWPA.
    9. Günter J. Hitsch, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Optimal Dynamic Product Launch and Exit Under Demand Uncertainty," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(1), pages 25-50, 01-02.
    10. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Consumer Learning, Brand Loyalty, and Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 134-145, December.
    11. Gregory S. Crawford & Matthew Shum, 2005. "Uncertainty and Learning in Pharmaceutical Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1137-1173, 07.
    12. Dutta, P.K., 1991. "What Do Discounted Optima Converge To? A Theory of Discount Rate Asymptotics in Economic Models," RCER Working Papers 264, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    13. Dennis L. Gärtner, 2010. "Monopolistic screening under learning by doing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 574-597.
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    Cited by:
    1. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2012. "Breakdowns," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 396, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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