IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Multidimensional Heterogeneity and Platform Design

One of the most salient issues faced by platforms like newspapers and credit card issuers is that users are heterogeneous in the value they bring to other users or to the platform. We develop a model with multi-dimensional heterogeneity where a monopoly platform chooses (price or non-price) instruments. Users play two roles: 1) they are users of the platform’s services with heterogeneous preferences over instruments and platform characteristics; 2) they make heterogeneous contributions that endogenously determine these characteristics. The marginal (private or social) value of an instrument or characteristic includes the classical direct impact on pro?t and on (relevant) participants’ utilities, but also includes a novel sorting effect of marginal users and consequent further impact on platform characteristics. The sorting effect is quanti?ed by the covariance, within the set of marginal users, between user preferences and user contributions towards characteristics. The private optimum departs from effciency by prescribing lower quantities and catering to the tastes of marginal (rather than average) users. Under reasonable conditions, optimal allocations may be implemented uniquely by allowing each instrument to be contingent on all characteristics. We discuss applications to newspapers, broadcast media, credit cards, and suggest simple extensions to the case of imperfect competition in insurance provision and college admissions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 11-33.

in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1133
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
  2. E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "A Price Theory of Multi-sided Platforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1642-72, September.
  3. Mark Cullen & Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein, 2009. "Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices," Discussion Papers 08-046, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  5. Roth, Alvin E & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1989. "The College Admissions Problem Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 559-70, May.
  6. Andrei Hagiu, 2009. "Two-Sided Platforms: Product Variety and Pricing Structures," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 1011-1043, December.
  7. Stephen Ryan & Catherine Tucker, 2006. "Heterogeneity and the Dynamics of Technology Adoption," Working Papers 06-26, NET Institute, revised Oct 2006.
  8. Renato Gomes & Alessandro Pavan, 2011. "Price Discrimination in Many-to-Many Matching Markets," Discussion Papers 1540, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-43, Summer.
  10. ?zlem Bedre-Defolie & Emilio Calvano, 2013. "Pricing Payment Cards," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 206-31, August.
  11. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein, 2011. "Selection in Insurance Markets: Theory and Empirics in Pictures," NBER Working Papers 16723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Doh-Shin Jeon & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2010. "The Pricing of Academic Journals: A Two-Sided Market Perspective," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 222-55, May.
  13. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chandra, Ambarish & Collard-Wexler, Allan, 2008. "Mergers in Two-Sided Markets: An Application to the Canadian Newspaper Industry," MPRA Paper 7954, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Cantillon, Estelle & Yin, Pai-Ling, 2008. "Competition between Exchanges: Lessons from the Battle of the Bund," CEPR Discussion Papers 6923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  17. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  18. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
  19. Armstrong, Mark & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Multi-dimensional screening:: A user's guide," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 959-979, April.
  20. Catherine Tucker, 2008. "Identifying Formal and Informal Influence in Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2024-2038, December.
  21. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-28, Summer.
  22. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:90:y:1976:i:4:p:630-49 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. White, Alexander, 2013. "Search engines: Left side quality versus right side profits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 690-701.
  24. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1133. 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: (Nicholas Economides)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.