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Actively Learning about Demand and the Dynamics of Price Adjustment

Author

Listed:
  • Balvers, Ronald J
  • Cosimano, Thomas F

Abstract

By observing the quantity demanded at particular prices, a firm may learn about the parameters of its demand curve. In such an environment, price changes obstruct the learning process by inducing additional noise. The authors' paper constructs a dynamic model where a price-setting firm endogenously controls the speed of learning. The model provides a possible explanation for price inertia, as a stable pricing policy allows the firm to learn more rapidly, which improves future expected profits. Furthermore, even in the long run, learning continues to affect the firm's optimal price. Copyright 1990 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1990. "Actively Learning about Demand and the Dynamics of Price Adjustment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 882-898, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:100:y:1990:i:402:p:882-98
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klumpp, Tilman, 2006. "Linear learning in changing environments," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2577-2611, December.
    2. Rosen Valchev & Nicolas Vincent & Cosmin Ilut, 2014. "Paralyzed by Fear: Rigid and Discrete Pricing under Demand Uncertainty," 2014 Meeting Papers 716, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Alexandre X. Carvalho & Martin L. Puterman, 2015. "Dynamic Optimization and Learning: How Should a Manager Set Prices When the Demand Function is Unknown?," Discussion Papers 0158, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    4. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 501-534, April.
    5. Sen, Alper & Zhang, Alex X., 2009. "Style goods pricing with demand learning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(3), pages 1058-1075, August.
    6. Rustichini, Aldo & Wolinsky, Asher, 1995. "Learning about variable demand in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1283-1292.
    7. Leonard J. Mirman & Kevin Reffett & Marc Santugini, 2016. "On learning and growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(4), pages 641-684, April.
    8. Kwon, Changhyun & Friesz, Terry L. & Mookherjee, Reetabrata & Yao, Tao & Feng, Baichun, 2009. "Non-cooperative competition among revenue maximizing service providers with demand learning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(3), pages 981-996, September.
    9. repec:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:604:p:2216-2239 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Yossi Aviv & Amit Pazgal, 2005. "A Partially Observed Markov Decision Process for Dynamic Pricing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1400-1416, September.
    11. Mason, Robin & Välimäki, Juuso, 2011. "Learning about the arrival of sales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1699-1711, July.
    12. Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2012. "Learning and Technology Progress in Dynamic Games," Cahiers de recherche 1217, CIRPEE.
    13. Christos Koulovatianos & Leonard J. Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2006. "Investment in a Monopoly with Bayesian Learning," Vienna Economics Papers 0603, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    14. Batlome Janjgava & Sergey Slobodyan, 2011. "Duopoly Competition, Escape Dynamics and Non-cooperative Collusion," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp445, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    15. Tim Willems, 2017. "Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2216-2239, September.
    16. Cosimano, Thomas F., 2008. "Optimal experimentation and the perturbation method in the neighborhood of the augmented linear regulator problem," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1857-1894, June.
    17. Koulovatianos, Christos & Mirman, Leonard J. & Santugini, Marc, 2009. "Optimal growth and uncertainty: Learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 280-295, January.
    18. Alexandre X. Carvalho & Martin L. Puterman, 2005. "Dynamic Optimization and Learning: How Should a Manager set Prices when the Demand Function is Unknown ?," Discussion Papers 1117, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    19. Holmes, James M. & Dowd, Michael R. & Black, David C., 1995. "Ignorance may be optimal? Some welfare implications of rational versus non-rational expectations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 377-386.
    20. Nicholas C. Petruzzi & Maqbool Dada, 2001. "Information and Inventory Recourse for a Two-Market, Price-Setting Retailer," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 242-263, October.
    21. Batlome Janjgava, 2013. "Free Entry and Social Efficiency under Unknown Demand Parameters," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp495, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    22. Kelly, David L. & Kolstad, Charles D., 1999. "Bayesian learning, growth, and pollution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 491-518, February.
    23. Mario Tello, 1992. "Precios relativos, producción interna y exportaciones en modelos de competencia imperfecta doméstica y mercados segmentados," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 1992-107, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
    24. Lin, Kyle Y., 2006. "Dynamic pricing with real-time demand learning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 174(1), pages 522-538, October.

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