Network Externalities, Demand Inertia, and Dynamic Pricing in an Experimental Oligopoly Market
Many commodities are such that the utility they create for individual consumers depends positively on the number of people also consuming these goods. Prominent examples among others are mobile phones, game consoles, and computer software. The customers form a network, where the size of the network increases the usefulness of the product for consumers. In the real world we observe that prices for such products decrease over time. However, game theory predicts that producers should take into account that current sales in markets with network externalities increase the future demand. We show that optimal prices are increasing over time if a base model is used where all other factors are excluded that could lead to decreasing prices over time (increasing returns to scale, learning by doing or inter-temporal price discrimination). We use a laboratory experiment to test this prediction. We find that the observed price path in the experiment is consistent with the real-world observation of deceasing prices rather than with the game theoretic prediction. Even if we allow for learning (repeated markets) prices are decreasing in young markets. We attribute this pricing behaviour to the well-known fact that people are not able to conduct backward induction within long supergames, but rather use rules of thumb. Surprisingly, the rule subjects use, is such that aggressiveness of play is positively correlated with the market share throughout the game. So a high market share seems to be an objective for itself rather than a way of increasing future profits. Another interesting result is that we observe much less collusion in a market with network externalities than in markets without
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||11 Aug 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 1 212 998 3820|
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- De Bijl, Paul W. J. & Goyal, Sanjeev, 1995.
"Technological change in markets with network externalities,"
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, September.
- De Bijl, P.W.J. & Goyal, S., 1992. "Technological Change in Markets with Network Externalities," Papers 9233, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Nicholas Economides, 1997.
"The Economics of Networks,"
- Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
- Economides, Nicholas, 1996. "The economics of networks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 673-699, October.
- Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1998.
"Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?,"
- Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2000. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 39-57, January.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
- Anette Boom & Pio Baake, .
"Vertical Product Differentiation, Network Externalities, and Compatibility Decisions,"
010, Departmental Working Papers.
- Baake, Pio & Boom, Anette, 2001. "Vertical product differentiation, network externalities, and compatibility decisions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 267-284, January.
- Bensaid, Bernard & Lesne, Jean-Philippe, 1996. "Dynamic monopoly pricing with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 837-855, October.
- Cabral, Luis M. B. & Salant, David J. & Woroch, Glenn A., 1999.
"Monopoly pricing with network externalities,"
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 199-214, February.
- S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
- Brandts, Jordi & Figueras, Neus, 2003.
"An exploration of reputation formation in experimental games,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 89-115, January.
- Brandts, J. & Figueras, N., 1997. "An Exploration of Reputation Formation in Experimental Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 404.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.