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Coordination and Critical Mass in a Network Market: An Experimental Investigation

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Author Info

  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Avi Weiss

    ()
    (Department of Economics Bar-Ilan University)

  • Amir Etziony

    ()
    (Hewlett-Packard)

Abstract

A network market is a market in which the benefit each consumer derives from a good is an increasing function of the number of consumers who own the same or similar goods. A major obstacle that plagues the introduction of a network good is the ability to reach critical mass, namely, the minimum number of buyers required to render purchase worthwhile. This can be likened to a coordination game with multiple Pareto-ranked equilibria. We introduce an experimental paradigm to study consumers' ability to coordinate on purchasing the network good. Our results highlight the central importance of the level of the critical mass.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1001.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:1001

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Keywords: experimental economics; network goods; coordination game; critical mass;

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Cited by:
  1. Sujoy Chakravarty, 2003. "Experimental Evidence on Product Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3_4), pages 233-254, December.
  2. Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami, 2010. "Investment decisions and coordination problems in a market with network externalities: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 759-773, December.

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