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The Company You Keep: Qualitative Uncertainty in Providing Club Goods

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  • Bipasa Datta
  • Clive D Fraser

Abstract

Clubs are typically experience goods. Potential members cannot ascertain precisely beforehand their quality (dependent endogenously on the club's facility investment and number of users, itself dependent on its pricing policy). Members with unsatisfactory initial experiences discontinue visits. We show that a monopoly profit maximiser never offers a free trial period for such goods but, for a quality function homogeneous of any feasible degree, a welfare maximiser always does. When the quality function is homogeneous of degree zero, the monopolist provides a socially excessive level of quality to repeat buyers. In other possible regimes, the monopolist permits too little club usage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 06/21.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:06/21

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Keywords: Clubs; qualitative uncertainty; monopoly; welfarist;

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  1. Sandler, Todd & Sterbenz, Frederic P & Tschirhart, John, 1985. "Uncertainty and Clubs," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 52(208), pages 467-77, November.
  2. Hoerger, Thomas J., 1993. "Two-part pricing for experience goods in the presence of adverse selection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 451-474.
  3. Jacques Cremer, 1984. "On the Economics of Repeat Buying," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 396-403, Autumn.
  4. Fraser, Clive D., 2000. "When Is Efficiency Separable from Distribution in the Provision of Club Goods?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 204-221, February.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L & Riordan, Michael H, 1994. "Price and Quality in a New Product Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 773-89, October.
  6. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1997. "On the uses of club theory: Preface to the club theory symposium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 3-7, July.
  7. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2004. "Monopoly Pricing of Experience Goods," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1463R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2005.
  9. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2006. "Dynamic Competition with Experience Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 37-66, 03.
  10. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Wooders, Myrna, 1978. "Equilibria, the core, and jurisdiction structures in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 328-348, August.
  12. Barro, Robert J & Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Ski-Lift Pricing, with Applications to Labor and Other," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 875-90, December.
  13. Julia Liebeskind & Richard P. Rumelt, 1989. "Markets for Experience Goods with Performance Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 601-621, Winter.
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