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Optimal Sales Schemes for Network Goods

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Author Info

  • Alexei Parakhonyak

    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Nick Vikander

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal sequencing of sales in the presence of network externalities. A firm sells a good to a group of consumers whose payoff from buying is increasing in total quantity sold. The firm selects the order to serve consumers so as to maximize expected sales. It can serve all consumers simultaneously, serve them all sequentially, or employ any intermediate scheme. We show that the optimal sales scheme is purely sequential, where each consumer observes all previous sales before choosing whether to buy himself. A sequential scheme maximizes the amount of information available to consumers, allowing success to breed success. Failure can also breed failure, but this is made less likely by consumers’ desire to influence one another’s behavior. We show that when consumers differ in the weight they place on the network externality, the firm would like to serve consumers with lower weights first. Our results suggests that a firm launching a new product should first target independent-minded consumers who can serve as opinion leaders for those who follow.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 13-11.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1311

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Keywords: Product launch; Network externality; Sequencing of sales;

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References

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  1. Luis Cabral & David Salant & Glenn Woroch, 1994. "Monopoly Pricing With Network Externalities," Industrial Organization 9411003, EconWPA.
  2. 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.
  3. Jinhong Xie & Marvin Sirbu, 1995. "Price Competition and Compatibility in the Presence of Positive Demand Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(5), pages 909-926, May.
  4. Ochs, Jack & Park, In-Uck, 2004. "Overcoming the Coordination Problem: Dynamic Formation of Networks," CEI Working Paper Series 2004-18, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Gill, David & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "Sequential decisions with tests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 663-678, July.
  7. David Gill & Daniel Sgroi, 2011. "The Optimal Choice of Pre-Launch Reviewer," Economics Series Working Papers 562, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Gale, Douglas, 2001. "Monotone Games with Positive Spillovers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 295-320, November.
  9. Masaki Aoyagi, 2005. "Optimal Sales Schemes against Interdependent Buyers," ISER Discussion Paper 0645, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  10. Shlomo Kalish, 1985. "A New Product Adoption Model with Price, Advertising, and Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(12), pages 1569-1585, December.
  11. Bose, Subir & Orosel, Gerhard O & Ottaviani, Marco & Vesterlund, Lise, 2005. "Dynamic Monopoly Pricing and Herding," CEPR Discussion Papers 5003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Heski Bar-Isaac, 2003. "Reputation and Survival: Learning in a Dynamic Signalling Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 231-251, 04.
  13. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  14. Marco Ottaviani & Andrea Prat, 2001. "The Value of Public Information in Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1673-1683, November.
  15. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2006. "Dynamic monopoly pricing and herding," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 910-928, December.
  16. Sgroi, Daniel, 2002. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profits, and Welfare," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 137-166, April.
  17. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:910-928 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Anirudh Dhebar & Shmuel S. Oren, 1985. "Optimal Dynamic Pricing For Expanding Networks," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 336-351.
  19. Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.
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