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Experimentation in Markets

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  • Dirk Bergemann
  • Juuso Valimaki

Abstract

We present a model of entry and exit with Bayesian learning and price competition. The value of the new product is initially unknown in the market, but purchases of the product yield information on its true value. We assume that the performance of the new product is publicly observable. As agents learn from the experiments of others, informational externalities arise. We determine the Markov Perfect Equilibrium prices and allocations in different market structures. In a single market, the informational externality among the buyers leads to too much learning. If the entry of the new product occurs in many distinct markets, then efficiency is reestablished in the limit as the number of markets grows. We finally analyze entry into different market segments and show that the new firm starts by selling to the informationally inexpensive buyers.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1996. "Experimentation in Markets," Discussion Papers 1220, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1220
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1999. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 475-507.
    2. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    3. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1997. "Market Diffusion with Two-Sided Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 773-795, Winter.
    4. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-1149, September.
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2000. "Experimentation in Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 213-234.
    6. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
    7. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
    8. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-868, August.
    9. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
    10. McFadden, Daniel L & Train, Kenneth E, 1996. "Consumers' Evaluation of New Products: Learning from Self and Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 683-703, August.
    11. Kenneth Hendricks & Dan Kovenock, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Information Externalities, and Efficiency: The Case of Oil Exploration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 164-182, Summer.
    12. Rafael Rob, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 655-675.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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