Learning and Strategic Pricing
We consider the situation where a single consumer buys a stream of goods from different sellers over time. The true value of each seller's product to the buyer is initially unknown. Additional information can be gained only by experimentation. For exogenously given prices the buyer's problem is a multi-armed bandit problem. The innovation in this paper is to endogenize the cost of experimentation to the consumer by allowing for price competition between the sellers. The role of prices is then to allocate intertemporally the costs and benefits of learning between buyer and sellers. We examine how strategic aspects of the oligopoly model interact with the learning process. All Markov Perfect Equilibria (MPE) are efficient. We identify an equilibrium which besides its unique robustness properties has a strikingly simple, seemingly myopic pricing rule. Prices below marginal cost emerge naturally to sustain experimentation. Intertemporal exchange of the gains of learning is necessary to support efficient experimentation. We analyze the asymptotic behavior of the equilibria.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1996|
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- Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996.
"Learning and Strategic Pricing,"
Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-49, September.
- Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
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- Rafael Rob, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 655-675.
- 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.
- Aghion Philippe & Bolton, Patrick & Harris Christopher & Jullien Bruno, 1991. "Optimal learning by experimentation," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9104, CEPREMAP.
- Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990. "Optimal Learning By Experimentation," DELTA Working Papers 90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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- Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
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