Externalities, Social Value and Word of Mouth: Notions of Public Economics on Networks
I examine an environment where advertisers can "seed" word-of-mouth advertising by providing initial information about a product to specific users of a social network. Discussion over a social network generates spillover effects for firms when consumers can use the social network to inform each other about products. When a firm can exploit a social network's structure, it can increase its sales. However, when the network formation process is costly, firms free-ride on such costs at the expense of agents on the network. If agents can form coalitions, I show that they can recoup the value of this externality by charging a toll. When users actively modify the information, generating word-of-mouth advertising about a product provides a "social value." This social value stems from the discussions that agents have about the product, without any intervention. Since this process occurs regardless of the firm's actions, the firm cannot capture such valuation. The opinion leaders, or highly regarded agents on the network, play a key role in the formation of this social value.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (613) 533-2250
Fax: (613) 533-6668
Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/
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.:
- Vettas, Nikolaos, 1997. "On the Informational Role of Quantities: Durable Goods and Consumers' Word-of-Mouth Communication," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 915-44, November.
- Ting Liu & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2012. "New product launch: herd seeking or herd preventing?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 627-648, November.
- Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984.
"Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation,"
345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
- Andrea Galeotti & Christian Ghiglino & Francesco Squintani, 2009. "Strategic Information Transmission in Networks," Economics Discussion Papers 668, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- 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:qed:wpaper:1301. 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: (Mark Babcock)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.