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Asymmetric Consumer Learning and Inventory Competition

Author

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  • Vishal Gaur

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University, Suite 8-160, 44 West Fourth Street, New York, New York 10012)

  • Young-Hoon Park

    () (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, 330 Sage Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-6201)

Abstract

We develop a model of consumer learning and choice behavior in response to uncertain service in the marketplace. Learning could be asymmetric, that is, consumers may associate different weights with positive and negative experiences. Under this consumer model, we characterize the steady-state distribution of demand for retailers given that each retailer holds a constant in-stock service level. We then consider a noncooperative game in steady state between two retailers competing on the basis of their service levels. The demand distributions of retailers in this game are modeled using a multiplicative aggregate market-share model in which the mean demands are obtained from the steady-state results for individual purchases, but the model is simplified in other respects for tractability. Our model yields a unique pure strategy Nash equilibrium. We show that asymmetry in consumer learning has a significant impact on the optimal service levels, market shares, and profits of the retailers. When retailers have different costs, it also determines the extent of competitive advantage enjoyed by the lower-cost retailer.

Suggested Citation

  • Vishal Gaur & Young-Hoon Park, 2007. "Asymmetric Consumer Learning and Inventory Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(2), pages 227-240, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:2:p:227-240
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1060.0615
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Javad Nasiry & Ioana Popescu, 2011. "Dynamic Pricing with Loss-Averse Consumers and Peak-End Anchoring," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 59(6), pages 1361-1368, December.
    2. Khouja, Moutaz & Park, Sungjune & Zhou, Jing, 2013. "A free gift card alternative to price discounts in the newsvendor problem," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 665-678.
    3. Qian Liu & Garrett van Ryzin, 2011. "Strategic Capacity Rationing when Customers Learn," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 89-107, September.
    4. Tava Lennon Olsen & Rodney P. Parker, 2008. "Inventory Management Under Market Size Dynamics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(10), pages 1805-1821, October.
    5. Loy, Jens-Peter & Weiss, Christoph R. & Glauben, Thomas, 2016. "Asymmetric cost pass-through? Empirical evidence on the role of market power, search and menu costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 184-192.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1667-:d:148223 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sam Aflaki & Ioana Popescu, 2014. "Managing Retention in Service Relationships," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(2), pages 415-433, February.
    8. Gérard P. Cachon & Pnina Feldman, 2015. "Price Commitments with Strategic Consumers: Why It Can Be Optimal to Discount More Frequently … Than Optimal," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 17(3), pages 399-410, July.
    9. Shining Wu & Qian Liu & Rachel Q. Zhang, 2015. "The Reference Effects on a Retailer’s Dynamic Pricing and Inventory Strategies with Strategic Consumers," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 63(6), pages 1320-1335, December.
    10. Tianhu Deng & Zuo-Jun Max Shen & J. George Shanthikumar, 2014. "Statistical Learning of Service-Dependent Demand in a Multiperiod Newsvendor Setting," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 62(5), pages 1064-1076, October.
    11. Liberopoulos, George & Tsikis, Isidoros & Delikouras, Stefanos, 2010. "Backorder penalty cost coefficient "b": What could it be?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 166-178, January.
    12. David A. Matsa, 2011. "Running on Empty? Financial Leverage and Product Quality in the Supermarket Industry," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 137-173, February.
    13. Liu Yang & Francis de Véricourt & Peng Sun, 2014. "Time-Based Competition with Benchmark Effects," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 16(1), pages 119-132, February.
    14. Klein, Robert & Kolb, Johannes, 2015. "Maximizing customer equity subject to capacity constraints," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 111-125.
    15. Saravanan Kesavan & Vidya Mani, 2013. "The Relationship Between Abnormal Inventory Growth and Future Earnings for U.S. Public Retailers," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 15(1), pages 6-23, May.
    16. Daniel Adelman & Adam J. Mersereau, 2013. "Dynamic Capacity Allocation to Customers Who Remember Past Service," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(3), pages 592-612, January.
    17. Felipe Caro & Victor Martínez-de-Albéniz, 2010. "The Impact of Quick Response in Inventory-Based Competition," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 12(3), pages 409-429, January.

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