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Network Externalities, Demand Inertia and Dynamic Pricing in an Experimental Oligopoly Market

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  • RALPH-C. BAYER
  • MICKEY CHAN

Abstract

This paper analyses dynamic pricing in markets with network externalities. Network externalities imply demand inertia, because the size of a network increases the usefulness of the product for consumers. Because past sales increase current demand, firms have an incentive to set low introductory prices to be able to increase prices as their networks grow. However, in reality we observe decreasing prices. This could be due to other factors dominating the network effects. We use an experimental duopoly market with demand inertia to isolate the effect of network externalities. We find that experimental prices are consistent with real world observations rather than with theoretical predictions. Copyright © 2007 The Economic Society of Australia.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 83 (2007)
Issue (Month): 263 (December)
Pages: 405-415

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:83:y:2007:i:263:p:405-415

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  1. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
  2. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
  3. Anette Boom & Pio Baake, . "Vertical Product Differentiation, Network Externalities, and Compatibility Decisions," Papers 010, Departmental Working Papers.
  4. De Bijl, Paul W. J. & Goyal, Sanjeev, 1995. "Technological change in markets with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, September.
  5. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
  6. Brandts, Jordi & Figueras, Neus, 2003. "An exploration of reputation formation in experimental games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 89-115, January.
  7. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1998. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," Industrial Organization 9803004, EconWPA.
  8. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  9. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Bensaid, Bernard & Lesne, Jean-Philippe, 1996. "Dynamic monopoly pricing with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 837-855, October.
  12. Cabral, Luis M. B. & Salant, David J. & Woroch, Glenn A., 1999. "Monopoly pricing with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 199-214, February.
  13. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bayer, Ralph-C., 2010. "Intertemporal price discrimination and competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 273-293, February.
  2. A. Paothong & G.S. Ladde, 2012. "Generalized Network Externality Function," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(3), pages 363-387, December.

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