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Opinion leaders, influence activities and leadership rents

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  • Konrad, Kai A.

Abstract

Consumers may observe previous consumers’ choices. They may follow their choices if they think these consumers are better informed. In turn, firms may concentrate on influencing the early consumers. This, in turn, changes the nature of early consumers’ choice behavior as a signal for other consumers. In this paper, I show that firms’ influence activities need not distort earlier consumers’ decisions, but may reduce the informative value of these decisions for other consumers if influence activities are noisy or if some firms have deep pockets and others are liquidity constrained. -- Wenn die Kaufentscheidungen früher Konsumenten von nachfolgenden Konsumenten beobachtbar sind, können frühe Kaufentscheidungen von wohlinformierten Konsumenten auch informativ für nachfolgende Konsumenten sein und diese zur Imitation früher Kaufentscheidungen veranlassen. Unternehmer haben deshalb bei Produktinnovationen einen Anreiz, das Kaufverhalten früher Konsumenten durch Preisnachlässe oder Werbegeschenke zu beeinflussen. Aus diesen Vergünstigungen resultiert für die frühen Konsumenten eine Konsumentenrente. Die Vergünstigungen verändern aber auch den Informationswert der Kaufentscheidung früher Konsumenten. In dem Beitrag wird gezeigt, dass die frühen Konsumenten im Gleichgewicht aus den Vergünstigungen eine erhebliche Rente erhalten, ihre Kaufentscheidung aber durch die Vergünstigungen nicht beeinflusst wird und als Signal für nachfolgende Käufer informativ bleibt. Das gilt vor allem, wenn die Beeinflussungsaktivitäten der Unternehmen effizient sind (z.B. in Form von Preisnachlässen erfolgen), und wenn die konkurrierenden Unternehmen ex-ante in einer symmetrischen Wettbewerbssituation sind. Der Beitrag untersucht zudem die Rolle von Budgetbeschränkungen der Unternehmen. Diese erweisen sich für das budgetbeschränkte und für das konkurrierende Unternehmen als vorteilhaft. Asymmetrische Budgetbeschr änkungen senken aber die Effizienz des Marktergebnisses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2003-29.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200329

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Related research

Keywords: Opinion leaders; influence activities; promotional competition; leadership; deep pockets; liquidity constraints;

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  1. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  2. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  3. Grewal, Rajdeep & Mehta, Raj & Kardes, Frank R., 2000. "The role of the social-identity function of attitudes in consumer innovativeness and opinion leadership," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 233-252, June.
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