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Investment in customer recognition and information exchange

  • Oz Shy
  • Rune Stenbacka
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We investigate how costly acquisition and exchange of customer-specific information affects industry profit and consumer welfare. Consumers differ in their preferences for competing brands and in their switching costs between brands. Brand-producing firms use their acquired knowledge of customer-specific preferences to differentiate prices. We show that consumers are worse off when firms acquire information about their preferences and that information sharing between firms further magnifies their losses. No information sharing supports a subgame perfect equilibrium that is also efficient. Finally, equilibrium investments in customer information may be excessive if firms bear low costs of acquiring customer-specific information.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 12-4.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:12-4
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  1. Nicola Jentzsch & Geza Sapi & Irina Suleymanova, 2010. "Joint Customer Data Acquisition and Sharing among Rivals," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1045, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Oz Shy & Rune Stenbacka, 2011. "Customer recognition and competition," Working Papers 11-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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  4. Brown, Martin & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2009. "Information sharing and credit: Firm-level evidence from transition countries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 151-172, April.
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  7. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Exchange of Cost Information in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 433-46, July.
  8. Jos Jansen, 2008. "Information Acquisition and Strategic Disclosure in Oligopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 113-148, 03.
  9. Padilla, A. Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Sharing default information as a borrower discipline device," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1951-1980, December.
  10. Taylor, Curtis R., 2000. "Supplier Surfing: Competition and Consumer Behavior in Subscription Markets," Working Papers 00-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  11. Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2006. "Customer information sharing among rival firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1571-1600, August.
  12. Gabrielsen, Tommy Staahl, 2004. "Customer poaching with differentiated products and switching costs," Working Papers in Economics 09/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  13. Qihong Liu & Konstantinos Serfes, 2002. "Quality of Information and Oligopolistic Price Discrimination," Industrial Organization 0203004, EconWPA, revised 06 Mar 2002.
  14. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2007. "Pricing with Customer Recognition," NIPE Working Papers 27/2007, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  15. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1991. "Information Sharing in Credit Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Rosa Branca Esteves, 2009. "A Survey on the Economics of Behaviour-Based Price Discrimination," NIPE Working Papers 5/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  17. Byung-Cheol Kim & Jay Pil Choi, 2010. "Customer Information Sharing: Strategic Incentives and New Implications," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 403-433, 06.
  18. Kirby, Alison J., 2004. "The product market opportunity loss of mandated disclosure," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 553-577, December.
  19. Thisse, J.-F. & Vives, X., 1987. "On the strategic choice of spatial price policy," CORE Discussion Papers 1987008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  20. Padilla, Atilano Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 1996. "Endogenous Communication Among Lenders and Entrepreneurial Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 1295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2002. "Information sharing, lending and defaults: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 2017-2045, October.
  22. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 329-43, March.
  23. Gehrig, Thomas & Stenbacka, Rune, 2007. "Information sharing and lending market competition with switching costs and poaching," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 77-99, January.
  24. Yuxin Chen & Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Z. John Zhang, 2001. "Individual Marketing with Imperfect Targetability," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(1), pages 23-41, November.
  25. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
  26. Gehrig, Thomas & Shy, Oz & Stenbacka, Rune, 2011. "History-based price discrimination and entry in markets with switching costs: A welfare analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 732-739, June.
  27. Thomas Gehrig & Rune Stenbacka, 2004. "Differentiation-Induced Switching Costs and Poaching," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 635-655, December.
  28. Gal-Or, Esther, 1986. "Information Transmission-Cournot and Bertrand Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 85-92, January.
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