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Would you like to be a prosumer? Information revelation, personalization and price discrimination in electronic markets


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  • Morasch, Karl
  • Bandulet, Martin


Electronic commerce and flexible manufacturing allow personalization of initially standardized products at low cost. Will customers provide the information necessary for personalization? Assuming that a consumer can control the amount of information revealed, we analyze how his decision interacts with the pricing strategy of a monopolist who may abuse the information to obtain a larger share of total surplus. We consider two scenarios, one where consumers have different tastes but identical willingness to pay and another with high and low valuation customers. In both cases full revelation may only result if the monopolist can commit to a maximum price before consumers decide about disclosure. -- Elektronischer Handel und flexible Produktionstechnologien ermöglichen eine kostengünstige Personalisierung ehemals standardisierter Produkte, allerdings benötigt der Produzent hierfür Informationen vom Kunden über dessen Präferenzen. Ausgehend von der Annahme, dass die Kunden selbst darüber entscheiden können, in welchem Ausmaß sie diese Informationen preisgeben, wird hier analysiert, wie diese Entscheidung des Kunden mit der Preispolitik eines Monopolisten interagiert, der mit Hilfe zusätzlicher Informationen zwar das Produkt besser an die Wünsche des Kunden anzupassen vermag, sein Wissen allerdings auch dazu missbrauchen kann, sich einen größeren Anteil des Handelsgewinns anzueignen. Bei heterogenen Präferenzen der Konsumenten zeigt sich sowohl für den Fall einer einheitlichen Zahlungsbereitschaft, als auch für den Fall unterschiedlicher Kundentypen mit hoher und niedriger Zahlungsbereitschaft, dass die Konsumenten nur dann zu einer vollständigen Informationsrevelation bereit sind, wenn sich der Monopolist im Vorfeld der Revelationsentscheidung glaubhaft an ein Preisschema binden kann.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universität der Bundeswehr München, Economic Research Group in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 2003,4.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ubwwpe:20034

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Keywords: E-Commerce; Personalization; Asymmetric information; Price discrimination; Elektronische Märkte; Personalisierung; Asymmetrische Information; Preisdiskriminierung;

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  1. Alessandro Acquisti & Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Conditioning Prices on Purchase History," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 367-381, May.
  2. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
  3. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
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