IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

An Empirical Model of Optimal Dynamic Product Launch and Exit Under Demand Uncertainty

Listed author(s):
  • Günter J. Hitsch

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 5807 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637)

Registered author(s):

    This paper considers the decision problem of a firm that is uncertain about the demand, and hence profitability, of a new product. We develop a model of a decision maker who sequentially learns about the true product profitability from observed product sales. Based on the current information, the decision maker decides whether to scrap the product. Central to this decision problem are sequential information gathering, and the option value of scrapping the product at any point in time. The model predicts the optimal demand for information (e.g., in the form of test marketing), and it predicts how the launch or exit policy depends on the firm's demand uncertainty. Furthermore, it predicts what fraction of newly developed products should be launched on average, and what fraction of these products will “fail,” i.e., exit. The model is solved using numerical dynamic programming techniques. We present an application of the model to the case of the U.S. ready-to-eat breakfast cereal industry. Simulations show that the value of reducing uncertainty can be large, and that under higher uncertainty firms should strongly increase the fraction of all new product opportunities launched, even if their point estimate of profits is negative. Alternative, simpler decision rules are shown to lead to large profit losses compared to our method. Finally, we find that the high observed exit rate in the U.S. ready-to-eat cereal industry is optimal and to be expected based on our model.

    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.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1050.0140
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (01-02)
    Pages: 25-50

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:25:y:2006:i:1:p:25-50
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    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.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    2. Roberts, Kevin & Weitzman, Martin L, 1981. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development, and Exploration Projects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-1288, September.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris & Bruno Jullien, 1991. "Optimal Learning by Experimentation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 621-654.
    4. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
    5. Kenneth L. Judd, 1985. "Credible Spatial Preemption," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 153-166, Summer.
    6. Alan L. Montgomery & Eric T. Bradlow, 1999. "Why Analyst Overconfidence About the Functional Form of Demand Models Can Lead to Overpricing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 569-583.
    7. Ronald W. Cotterill, 1999. "High cereal prices and the prospects for relief by expansion of private label and antitrust enforcement," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 229-245.
    8. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    9. Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1997. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 773-795, Winter.
    11. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
    12. Kenneth L. Judd & Michael H. Riordan, 1994. "Price and Quality in a New Product Monopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 773-789.
    13. Berry, Steven T, 1992. "Estimation of a Model of Entry in the Airline Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 889-917, July.
    14. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    15. John H. Roberts & Glen L. Urban, 1988. "Modeling Multiattribute Utility, Risk, and Belief Dynamics for New Consumer Durable Brand Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(2), pages 167-185, February.
    16. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    17. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
    18. 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.
    19. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "The Ignorant Monopolist: Optimal Learning with Endogenous Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 565-581, August.
    20. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
    21. Füsun Gönül & Meng Ze Shi, 1998. "Optimal Mailing of Catalogs: A New Methodology Using Estimable Structural Dynamic Programming Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1249-1262, September.
    22. McLennan, Andrew, 1984. "Price dispersion and incomplete learning in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 331-347, September.
    23. Daniel A. Ackerberg, 2003. "Advertising, learning, and consumer choice in experience good markets: an empirical examination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 1007-1040, August.
    24. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    25. M. Tolga Akçura & Füsun F. Gönül & Elina Petrova, 2004. "Consumer Learning and Brand Valuation: An Application on Over-the-Counter Drugs," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 156-169, April.
    26. Vrinda Kadiyali, 1996. "Entry, Its Deterrence, and Its Accommodation: A Study of the U.S. Photographic Film Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 452-478, Autumn.
    27. Kalyan Raman & Rabikar Chatterjee, 1995. "Optimal Monopolist Pricing Under Demand Uncertainty in Dynamic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(1), pages 144-162, January.
    28. Inseong Song & Pradeep Chintagunta, 2003. "A Micromodel of New Product Adoption with Heterogeneous and Forward-Looking Consumers: Application to the Digital Camera Category," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 371-407, December.
    29. Harrington Jr. , Joseph E., 1995. "Experimentation and Learning in a Differentiated-Products Duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-288, June.
    30. Füsun Gönül & Kannan Srinivasan, 1996. "Estimating the Impact of Consumer Expectations of Coupons on Purchase Behavior: A Dynamic Structural Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(3), pages 262-279.
    31. Vithala R. Rao & Frederick W. Winter, 1981. "A Bayesian Approach to Test Market Selection," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(12), pages 1351-1369, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:25:y:2006:i:1:p:25-50. 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: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.