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Durable-Goods Monopolists, Network Effects and Penetration Pricing

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    Abstract

    We study the pricing problem of a durable-goods monopolist. With network effects, consumption externalities among heterogeneous groups of consumers generate a discontinuous demand function. Consequently, the lessor has to offer a low price in order to reach the mass market, whereas the seller has the option to build a customer base by setting a lower initial price and raise the price later in the mass market, which explains the practice of introductory pricing. Contrary to the existing literature, we show that profits from selling network goods may be higher than from leasing. Further, the seller in fact over-invests in R&D and makes the product more durable than necessary.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan in its series IEAS Working Paper : academic research with number 05-A001.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sin:wpaper:05-a001

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    Keywords: Penetration pricing; network externality;

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    1. 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.
    2. Shmuel S. Oren & Stephen A. Smith, 1981. "Critical Mass and Tariff Structure in Electronic Communications Markets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 467-487, Autumn.
    3. Bulow, Jeremy, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Planned Obsolescence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 729-49, November.
    4. Shmuel S. Oren & Stephen A. Smith & Robert B. Wilson, 1982. "Nonlinear Pricing in Markets with Interdependent Demand," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(3), pages 287-313.
    5. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
    6. 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.
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