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Experimentation in Markets

We present a model of entry and exit with Bayesian learning and price competition. A new product of initially unknown quality is introduced in the market, and purchases of the product yield information on its true quality. We assume that the performance of the new product is publicly observable. As agents learn from the experiments of others, informational externalities arise. We determine the Markov Perfect Equilibrium prices and allocations. In a single market, the combination of the informational externalities among the buyers and the strategic pricing by the sellers results in excessive experimentation. If the new product is launched in many distinct markets, the path of sales converges to the efficient path in the limit as the number of markets grows.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1214
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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Gale, D. & Chamley, C., 1992. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Papers 10, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
  3. Rafael Rob, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 655-675.
  4. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-68, August.
  5. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1138, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1113, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2000. "Experimentation in Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 213-234.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
  9. Kenneth Hendricks & Dan Kovenock, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Information Externalities, and Efficiency: The Case of Oil Exploration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 164-182, Summer.
  10. McFadden, Daniel L & Train, Kenneth E, 1996. "Consumers' Evaluation of New Products: Learning from Self and Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 683-703, August.
  11. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  12. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1999. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 475-507.
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