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Pricing and Referrals in Diffusion on Networks

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  • Matt V. Leduc
  • Matthew O. Jackson
  • Ramesh Johari

Abstract

When a new product or technology is introduced, potential consumers can learn its quality by trying the product, at a risk, or by letting others try it and free-riding on the information that they generate. We propose a dynamic game to study the adoption of technologies of uncertain value, when agents are connected by a network and a monopolist seller chooses a policy to maximize profits. Consumers with low degree (few friends) have incentives to adopt early, while consumers with high degree have incentives to free ride. The seller can induce high-degree consumers to adopt early by offering referral incentives - rewards to early adopters whose friends buy in the second period. Referral incentives thus lead to a `double-threshold strategy' by which low and high-degree agents adopt the product early while middle-degree agents wait. We show that referral incentives are optimal on certain networks while inter-temporal price discrimination (i.e., a first-period price discount) is optimal on others, and discuss welfare implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Matt V. Leduc & Matthew O. Jackson & Ramesh Johari, 2015. "Pricing and Referrals in Diffusion on Networks," Papers 1509.06544, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1509.06544
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

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    2. Chen, Ying-Ju & Zenou, Yves & Zhou, Junjie, 2022. "The impact of network topology and market structure on pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    3. Yuichiro Kamada & Aniko Ory, 2016. "Contracting with Word-of-Mouth Management," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2048R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2018.
    4. Régis Chenavaz & Corina Paraschiv & Gabriel Turinici, 2021. "Dynamic Pricing of New Products in Competitive Markets: A Mean-Field Game Approach," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 463-490, September.
    5. Ishita Chakraborty & Joyee Deb & Aniko Oery, 2020. "When Do Consumers Talk?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2254R2, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jun 2022.
    6. Feng Zhu & Xinxin Li & Ehsan Valavi & Marco Iansiti, 2021. "Network Interconnectivity and Entry into Platform Markets," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 32(3), pages 1009-1024, September.
    7. Arthur Campbell & C. Matthew Leister & Yves Zenou, 2020. "Word‐of‐mouth communication and search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 51(3), pages 676-712, September.
    8. Andrea Galeotti & Benjamin Golub & Sanjeev Goyal, 2020. "Targeting Interventions in Networks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(6), pages 2445-2471, November.
    9. Ishita Chakraborty & Joyee Deb & Aniko Oery, 2020. "When Do Consumers Talk?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2254R3, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2023.
    10. Elias Carroni & Paolo Pin & Simone Righi, 2020. "Bring a Friend! Privately or Publicly?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(5), pages 2269-2290, May.
    11. Antonio Jiménez-Martínez, 2019. "Discrimination through versioning with advertising in social networks," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 67(3), pages 525-564, April.
    12. Andrea Galeotti & Benjamin Golub & Sanjeev Goyal & Eduard Talam`as & Omer Tamuz, 2021. "Taxes and Market Power: A Principal Components Approach," Papers 2112.08153, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2022.
    13. Yang Zhang & Ying-Ju Chen, 2020. "Optimal Nonlinear Pricing in Social Networks Under Asymmetric Network Information," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 68(3), pages 818-833, May.
    14. Yuichiro Kamada & Aniko Öry, 2020. "Contracting with Word-of-Mouth Management," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(11), pages 5094-5107, November.
    15. Zenou, Yves & Chen, Ying-Ju & Zhou, Junjie, 2020. "Network Topology and Market Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 14495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Ishita Chakraborty & Joyee Deb & Aniko Oery, 2020. "When Do Consumers Talk?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2254, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    17. Duan, Yongrui & Feng, Yixuan, 2021. "Optimal pricing in social networks considering reference price effect," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    18. Jadbabaie, Ali & Kakhbod, Ali, 2019. "Optimal contracting in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1094-1153.
    19. Jeong, Seungwon (Eugene) & Lee, Joosung, 2024. "The groupwise-pivotal referral auction: Core-selecting referral strategy-proof mechanism," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 191-203.
    20. Vahideh Manshadi & Sidhant Misra & Scott Rodilitz, 2020. "Diffusion in Random Networks: Impact of Degree Distribution," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 68(6), pages 1722-1741, November.
    21. Xintong Han & Pu Zhao, 2019. "Pay for Content or Pay for Marketing? An Empirical Study on Content Pricing," Working Papers 19-03, NET Institute.
    22. Wang, Ge & Zhang, Qi & Li, Yan & Li, Hailong, 2018. "Policy simulation for promoting residential PV considering anecdotal information exchanges based on social network modelling," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 223(C), pages 1-10.
    23. Li, Yongli & Luo, Peng & Pin, Paolo, 2021. "Link value, market scenario and referral networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 135-155.
    24. Gong, Qingbin & Diao, Xundi, 2023. "The impacts of investor network and herd behavior on market stability: Social learning, network structure, and heterogeneity," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 306(3), pages 1388-1398.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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