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Learning How to Consume and Returns to Product Promotion

  • Babutsidze, Zakaria



This paper presents the computational model of consumer behaviour. We consider two sources of product specic consumer skill acquisition, termed here as learning how to consume: learning by consuming and consumer socialization. Consumers utilize these two sources in order to derive higher valuations for products they are consuming. In this framework we discuss the behavior of returns to product promotion relative to the changes in product characteristics, such as quality and userfriendliness, as well as in case of varying intensity of consumer socialization. The main finding is that in case of duopoly the dependence of returns to advertising on product quality is not monotonic as it has been claimed by earlier studies. Additional important finding indicating the importance of the models with interacting agents is that returns to advertising exhibit qualitatively different behavior in case of zero intensity of consumer socialization.

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Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 018.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009018
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Cowan, Robin & Cowan, William & Swann, Peter, 1997. "A model of demand with interactions among consumers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 711-732, October.
  3. Caselli, G & Ventura, J, 1996. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," Papers 534, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Philip R. Vande Kamp & Harry M. Kaiser, 2000. "Optimal Temporal Policies in Fluid Milk Advertising," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 274-286.
  5. Weisbuch, GĂ©rard & Battiston, Stefano, 2007. "From production networks to geographical economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 448-469.
  6. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-21, May.
  7. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
  8. Petr Mariel, 2005. "Nonparametric Estimation of the Effects of Advertising: The Case of Lydia Pinkham," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 649-674, March.
  9. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  10. Landes, Elisabeth M & Rosenfield, Andrew M, 1994. "The Durability of Advertising Revisited," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 263-76, September.
  11. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-50, June.
  12. Cowan Robin & Cowan William & Swann Peter, 1998. "Waves in Consumption with Interdependence among Consumers," Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  13. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  14. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  15. Stegeman, Mark, 1991. "Advertising in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 210-23, March.
  16. Ward, Scott, 1974. " Consumer Socialization," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 1-14, Se.
  17. Babutsidze, Zakaria & Cowan, Robin, 2008. "Habit Formation, Information Exchange and the Social Geography of Demand," MERIT Working Papers 047, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  18. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-964.
  19. LeBlanc, Greg, 1998. "Informative Advertising Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 63-77, March.
  20. Cowan, Robin, 1991. "Tortoises and Hares: Choice among Technologies of Unknown Merit," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 801-14, July.
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