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Monopoly Pricing of Experience Goods

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2004. "Monopoly Pricing of Experience Goods," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1463R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1463
    Note: CFP 1175
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d14/d1463-r.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Ching, Andrew T., 2010. "Consumer learning and heterogeneity: Dynamics of demand for prescription drugs after patent expiration," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 619-638, November.
    5. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-1485, September.
    6. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2004. "Consumer Learning, Brand Loyalty, and Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 134-145, December.
    7. Gregory S. Crawford & Matthew Shum, 2005. "Uncertainty and Learning in Pharmaceutical Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1137-1173, July.
    8. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2006. "Dynamic Competition with Experience Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 37-66, March.
    9. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-239, March.
    10. 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 138-165, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hopkins, Ed, 2007. "Adaptive learning models of consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 348-368.
    2. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2008. "Learning, Forgetting, and Sales," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1951-1960, November.
    3. Bipasa Datta & Clive D Fraser, 2006. "The Company You Keep: Qualitative Uncertainty in Providing Club Goods," Discussion Papers 06/21, Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monopoly; dynamic pricing; learning; experience goods; continuous time; Markov perfect equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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