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Monopoly Pricing of Experience Goods

We develop a dynamic model of experience goods pricing with independent private valuations. We show that the optimal paths of sales and prices can be described in terms of a simple dichotomy. In a mass market, prices are declining over time. In a niche market, the optimal prices are initially low followed by higher prices that extract surplus from the buyers with a high willingness to pay. We consider extensions of the model to integrate elements of social rather than private learning and turnover among buyers.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1463R.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision: May 2005
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy (2006), 114(4): 713-743
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1463
Note: CFP 1175
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Ching, Andrew, 2008. "Consumer Learning and Heterogeneity: Dynamics of Demand for Prescription Drugs after Patent Expiration," MPRA Paper 7265, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:4:p:773-89 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Consumer Learning, Brand Loyalty, and Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 134-145, December.
  4. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2006. "Dynamic Competition with Experience Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 37-66, 03.
  5. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2003. " Price Dispersion and Learning in a Dynamic Differentiated-Goods Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 138-65, Spring.
  7. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Gregory S. Crawford & Matthew Shum, 2005. "Uncertainty and Learning in Pharmaceutical Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1137-1173, 07.
  9. Bhattacharya, Jayanta & Vogt, William B, 2003. "A Simple Model of Pharmaceutical Price Dynamics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 599-626, October.
  10. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
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