Price competition when consumer behavior is characterized by conformity or vanity
It has long been recognized that the pleasure of consuming a good may be affected by the consumption choice of other consumers. At least two types of motivations may explain such a behavior. In some cases social pressures may lead to conformity; while in some other cases individuals may feel the need of exclusiveness under the form of vanity. Such externalities have proven to be important in several markets where the decision to buy a product is positively or negatively affected by the number of consumers purchasing the same product. However, the market and welfare implication of these effects are still unclear. To investigate them, we propose to graft the consumption externality model onto the spatial duopoly model. When conformity is present but not too strong, both firms remain in business but price com- petition is fiercer and results in lower prices. The market share of the large firm increases with the population size; as the population keeps rising, the large firm serves the entire market and sets a price which has the nature of a limit price. When conformity is strong enough, different equilibria may exist. These equilibria are such that only one firm has a positive market share or both firms split the market. At the other extreme, when vanity is at work, price competition is relaxed.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
- Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
- Becker, Gary S, 1991.
"A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1109-16, October.
- Gary S. Becker, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 67, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
- Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
- Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
- Stanley M. Besen & Joseph Farrell, 1994. "Choosing How to Compete: Strategies and Tactics in Standardization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 117-131, Spring.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
- Karni, Edi & Levin, Dan, 1994. "Social Attributes and Strategic Equilibrium: A Restaurant Pricing Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 822-40, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:80:y:2001:i:3:p:385-408. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.