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Menu Pricing and Learning


  • Alessandro Bonatti


We analyze the design of dynamic menus to sell experience goods. The quality of the product is initially unknown, and the total quantity sold in each period determines the amount of information in the market. We characterize the optimum menu as a function of consumers' beliefs, and the dynamic adjustments resulting from the diffusion of information. The firm faces a dynamic trade-off between gains from trade, information production, and information rents. It initially charges lower prices, sacrificing short-term revenue to increase sales. As more information is revealed, prices increase, and low-valuation buyers are excluded, even when the product's quality is high. (JEL D42, D82, D83, L12)

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bonatti, 2011. "Menu Pricing and Learning," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-163, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:124-63 Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.124

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Peitz & Sven Rady & Piers Trepper, 2017. "Experimentation in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 128-172.
    2. Eeckhout, Jan & Weng, Xi, 2015. "Common value experimentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 317-339.
    3. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2015. "Breakdowns," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(1), January.
    4. Mihaela Schaar & Simpson Zhang, 2015. "A dynamic model of certification and reputation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(3), pages 509-541, April.
    5. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2015. "Undiscounted Bandit Games," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 520, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    6. Weng, Xi, 2015. "Dynamic pricing in the presence of individual learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 262-299.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies


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