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Experimentation in Markets

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Abstract

We present a model of entry and exit with Bayesian learning and price competition. A new product of initially unknown quality is introduced in the market, and purchases of the product yield information on its true quality. We assume that the performance of the new product is publicly observable. As agents learn from the experiments of others, informational externalities arise. We determine the Markov Perfect Equilibrium prices and allocations. In a single market, the combination of the informational externalities among the buyers and the strategic pricing by the sellers results in excessive experimentation. If the new product is launched in many distinct markets, the path of sales converges to the efficient path in the limit as the number of markets grows.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d12a/d1214.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1214

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Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Related research

Keywords: Learning; experimentation; informational externalities; dynamic oligopoly; Markov perfect equilibrium;

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References

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  1. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 2000. "Experimentation in Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 213-34, April.
  2. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-85, September.
  3. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1997. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1997/333, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
  5. repec:cep:stitep:333 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1997. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 773-795, Winter.
  7. Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
  8. Kenneth Hendricks & Dan Kovenock, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Information Externalities, and Efficiency: The Case of Oil Exploration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 164-182, Summer.
  9. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-68, August.
  10. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-49, September.
  11. McFadden, Daniel L & Train, Kenneth E, 1996. "Consumers' Evaluation of New Products: Learning from Self and Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 683-703, August.
  12. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  13. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
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