Learning and Strategic Pricing
AbstractWe consider the situation where a single consumer buys a stream of goods from different sellers over time. The true value of each seller's product to the buyer is initially unknown. Additional information can be gained only by experimentation. For exogenously given prices the buyer's problem is a multi-armed bandit problem. The innovation in this paper is to endogenize the cost of experimentation to the consumer by allowing for price competition between the sellers. The role of prices is then to allocate intertemporally the costs and benefits of learning between buyer and sellers. We examine how strategic aspects of the oligopoly model interact with the learning process. All Markov Perfect Equilibria (MPE) are efficient. We identify an equilibrium which besides its unique robustness properties has a strikingly simple, seemingly myopic pricing rule. Prices below marginal cost emerge naturally to sustain experimentation. Intertemporal exchange of the gains of learning is necessary to support efficient experimentation. We analyze the asymptotic behavior of the equilibria.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1113.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1996
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Other versions of this item:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Banks, J.s. & Sunderam, R.K., 1991.
RCER Working Papers
277, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
- Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996.
"Learning and Strategic Pricing,"
Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-49, September.
- Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
- Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990.
"Optimal Learning By Experimentation,"
DELTA Working Papers
90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979.
"Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
- Aghion, Philippe, et al, 1991. "Optimal Learning by Experimentation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 621-54, July.
- Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
- McLennan, Andrew, 1984. "Price dispersion and incomplete learning in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 331-347, September.
- Bertola, Giuseppe & Felli, Leonardo, 1993. "Job matching and the distribution of producer surplus," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 65-92, March.
- Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.