IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nys/sunysb/12-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Competing for Customers in a Social Network

Author

Listed:
  • Pradeep Dubey

    () (Department of Economics, Stony Brook University)

  • Rahul Garg

    () (Opera Solutions, INDIA)

  • Bernard De Meyer

    () (Cermsem, Univesit´e Paris 1, Paris, FRANCE)

Abstract

There are many situations in which a customer’s proclivity to buy the product of any firm depends not only on the classical attributes of the product such as its price and quality, but also on who else is buying the same product. Under quite general circumstances, it turns out that customers’ influence on each other dynamically converges to a steady state. Thus we can model these situations as games in which firms compete for customers located in a “social network”. A canonical example is provided by competition for advertisement on the web. Nash Equilibrium (NE) in pure strategies exist in general. In the quasi-linear version of the model, NE turn out to be unique and can be precisely characterized. If there are no a priori biases between customers and firms, then there is a cut-off level above which high cost firms are blockaded at an NE, while the rest compete uniformly throughout the network. Otherwise there is a tendency towards regionalization, with firms dominating disjoint territories. We also explore the relation between the connectivity of a customer and the money firms spend on him. This relation becomes particularly transparent when externalities are dominant: NE can be characterized in terms of the invariant measures on the recurrent classes of the Markov chain underlying the social network. Finally we consider convex (instead of linear) cost functions for the firms. Here NE need not be unique as we show via an example. But uniqueness is restored if there is enough competition between firms or if their valuations of clients are anonymous.

Suggested Citation

  • Pradeep Dubey & Rahul Garg & Bernard De Meyer, 2012. "Competing for Customers in a Social Network," Department of Economics Working Papers 12-10, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:12-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.stonybrook.edu/economics/research/papers/2012/socialpdf.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pradeep Dubey & Rahul Garg & Bernard De Meyer, 2006. "Competing for Customers in a Social Network," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    2. Bloch, Francis & Quérou, Nicolas, 2013. "Pricing in social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 243-261.
    3. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521805001, November.
    4. Banerji, A. & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Local network externalities and market segmentation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 605-614.
    5. Banerji, A. & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Local network externalities and market segmentation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 605-614.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cristiano Cantore & Miguel León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2014. "Shocking Stuff: Technology, Hours, And Factor Substitution," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 108-128, February.
    2. Antoine Mandel & Xavier Venel, 2017. "Dynamic competition over social networks Dynamic competition over social networks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01524453, HAL.
    3. Pradeep Dubey & Rahul Garg & Bernard De Meyer, 2006. "Competing for Customers in a Social Network," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    4. Sengupta, Abhijit & Greetham, Danica Vukadinovic, 2010. "Dynamics of brand competition: Effects of unobserved social networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2391-2406, December.
    5. Aner Sela & Ezra Einy & 0ri Haimanko & Diego Moreno & Avishay Aiche & Benyamin Shitovitz, 2016. "Information Advantage in Common-Value Classic Tullock Contests," Working Papers 1614, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    6. Nicole Tabasso, 2015. "Diffusion of Multiple Information: On Information Resilience and the Power of Segregation," Working Papers 2015.55, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Antoine Mandel & Xavier Venel, 2017. "Dynamic competition over social networks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17021, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:12-10. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edstous.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.