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A Bayesian approach to the evaluation of stochastic signals of product quality

  • Hudson, John

This paper explores consumers' use of stochastic signals of product quality from a Bayesian perspective. Stochastic signals are implicit in many of the analyses on signal usage in the marketing literature and yet formal analysis of their use has been relatively limited. The basis for our analysis is a seminal paper by Winkler on combining experts' forecasts into a single consensus distribution, together with the resulting literature to which this has given rise. This is a substantial body of literature and represents a readily available fund of results which can be used within the marketing context. Hence, it is shown that the weights on different signals will be inversely related to the variance of the signal and need not be convex. It is also shown that for repeatedly purchased goods, signals will play a decreasing role as the consumer gains experience of the good.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

Volume (Year): 28 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 599-607

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:28:y:2000:i:5:p:599-607
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  1. Purushottam Papatla & Lakshman Krishnamurthi, 1992. "A Probit Model of Choice Dynamics," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(2), pages 189-206.
  2. Hong, Sung-Tai & Wyer, Robert S, Jr, 1989. " Effects of Country-of-Origin and Product-Attribute Information on Product Evaluation: An Information Processing Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 175-87, September.
  3. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 1996. "Signalling product quality: When is price relevant?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 257-266, August.
  5. Andrews, Rick L., 1992. "Economics of information and heterogeneous products," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 399-420, September.
  6. Maute, Manfred F. & Forrester, William Jr., 1991. "The effect of attribute qualities on consumer decision making: a causal model of external information search," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 643-666, December.
  7. Rao, Akshay R & Monroe, Kent B, 1988. " The Moderating Effect of Prior Knowledge on Cue Utilization in Product Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 253-64, September.
  8. Robert L. Winkler, 1981. "Combining Probability Distributions from Dependent Information Sources," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 479-488, April.
  9. Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 1996. "Standardization and the costs of assessing quality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 355-361, September.
  10. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  11. Archibald, Robert B & Haulman, Clyde A & Moody, Carlisle E, Jr, 1983. " Quality, Price, Advertising, and Published Quality Ratings," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 347-56, March.
  12. Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 1996. "Decision-Making Under Uncertainty: Capturing Dynamic Brand Choice Processes in Turbulent Consumer Goods Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(1), pages 1-20.
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