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On the role of consumer expectations in markets with network effects

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  • Suleymanova, Irina
  • Wey, Christian

Abstract

We analyze the role of consumer expectations in a Hotelling model of price competition when products exhibit network effects. Expectations can be strong (stubborn), weak (price-sensitive) or partially stubborn (a mix of weak and strong). As a rule, the price-sensitivity of demand declines when expectations are more stubborn. An increase of stubbornness i) reduces competition, ii) increases (decreases) the parameter region with a unique duopoly equilibrium (multiple equilibria), iii) reduces the conflict between consumer and social preferences for de facto standardization, and iv) reduces the misalignment between consumer and social preferences for compatibility. --

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Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 13.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:13

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Keywords: Network Effects; Expectations; Duopoly; Compatibility; Welfare;

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  1. Baake, Pio & Boom, Anette, 2001. "Vertical product differentiation, network externalities, and compatibility decisions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 267-284, January.
  2. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
  3. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2006. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9n26k7v1, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Eirik Kristiansen & Marcel Thum, 1997. "R&D incentives in compatible networks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 55-78, February.
  5. Grilo, Isabel & Shy, Oz & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2001. "Price competition when consumer behavior is characterized by conformity or vanity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 385-408, June.
  6. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800952, April.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1109-16, October.
  8. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Snobs, bandwagons, and the origin of social customs in consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 333-347, March.
  9. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  10. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Stühmeier, Torben & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Regulating advertising in the presence of public service broadcasting," DICE Discussion Papers 41, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  3. Christin, Clémence, 2011. "Entry deterrence through cooperative R&D over-investment," DICE Discussion Papers 38, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  4. Irina Suleymanova & Christian Wey, 2008. "Bertrand Competition in Markets with Network Effects and Switching Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 796, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
  6. Corrado Benassi & Marcella Scrimitore, 2013. "Income Distribution in Network Markets," Working Paper Series 13_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

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