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Coordination in Markets with Consumption Externalities: The Role of Advertising and Product Quality

  • Pastine, Ivan
  • Pastine, Tuvana

This paper studies advertising in vertically differentiated product markets with positive consumption externalities. In markets with consumption externalities, the value of the product to the consumer depends on the purchasing decisions of other consumers. In such markets, we show that firms will engage in advertising competition in order to convince consumers of their popularity only as long as they produce goods of similar quality. The firm with the lower quality product will have a greater incentive to advertise. If it is not the brand to provide the greater consumption externality it will have very low market share due to its low intrinsic quality. Hence, in equilibrium, the lower quality product will often be more popular. This provides an additional explanation for the empirical observation that in some markets high quality is associated with lower levels of advertising.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5152.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5152
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  1. Robert, Jacques & Stahl, Dale O, II, 1993. "Informative Price Advertising in a Sequential Search Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 657-86, May.
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  17. Hao Zhao, 2000. "Raising Awareness and Signaling Quality to Uninformed Consumers: A Price-Advertising Model," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(4), pages 390-396, January.
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  19. Avinash Dixit & Victor Norman, 1978. "Advertising and Welfare," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
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  21. Yubo Chen & Jinhong Xie, 2005. "Third-Party Product Review and Firm Marketing Strategy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(2), pages 218-240, February.
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