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Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning

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Abstract

The diffusion of a new product of uncertain value is analyzed in a duopolistic market in continuous time. The two sides of the market, buyers and sellers, learn the true value of the new product over time as a result of experimentation. Buyers have heterogeneous preferences over the products and sellers compete in prices. The pricing policies and market shares of the sellers in the unique Markov perfect equilibrium are obtained explicitly. The dynamics of the equilibrium market shares display excessive sales of the new product relative to the social optimum in early stages and too low sales later on. The dynamic resolution of uncertainty implies ex post differentiation and hence both sellers value information positively. As information is generated only by experiments with the new product, this relaxes the price competition in the dynamic setting. Finally, the diffusion path of a successful product is shown to be S-shaped.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1138, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1138
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d11/d1138.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Espinosa, Maria Paz & Jullien, Bruno, 1993. "Dynamic Duopoly with Learning through Market Experimentation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(3), pages 517-539, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    4. Dutta, P.K., 1991. "What Do Discounted Optima Converge To? A Theory of Discount Rate Asymptotics in Economic Models," RCER Working Papers 264, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    5. Ramon Caminal & Xavier Vives, 1996. "Why Market Shares Matter: An Information-Based Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 221-239, Summer.
    6. 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.
    7. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
    8. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996. "Market Experimentation and Pricing," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1122, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    10. Rafael Rob, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 655-675.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic duopoly; learning; market shares; diffusion;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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