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Shareware competition: Selling an experience

Author

Listed:
  • Alexandre Gaudeul

    (University of East Anglia - Norwich)

Abstract

A firm may allow customers to learn the value of its product prior to buying it. This increases their willingness to pay, even though it also leads some not to buy. That strategy may also be used as a competitive tool to increase its product's attractiveness. This paper examines competition between ex-ante identical firms that sell horizontally differentiated and mutually exclusive experience goods. Customers incur set-up costs when buying a good, but those set-up costs are partly recoverable if they then decide to buy the product of a competitor. The main conclusion from this paper is that while a firm that gives information about its product makes higher profits than a competing firm that chooses not to do so, a firm may however choose that last option in order to avoid being in direct competition with a firm that is more open about the value of its product.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandre Gaudeul, 2004. "Shareware competition: Selling an experience," Game Theory and Information 0409008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0409008
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 46
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/game/papers/0409/0409008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Andrew Postlewaite & Kotaro Suzumura, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47.
    2. Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 2000. "Sequential Screening," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 697-717.
    3. Che, Yeon-Koo, 1996. "Customer Return Policies for Experience Goods," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 17-24, March.
    4. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, August.
    5. Meurer, Michael & Stahl, Dale II, 1994. "Informative advertising and product match," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, March.
    6. Bouckaert, Jan & Degryse, Hans, 2000. "Price competition between an expert and a non-expert," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 901-923, August.
    7. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 1994. "Supplying Information to Facilitate Price Discrimination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-327, May.
    8. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    9. Baye, Michael R. & Morgan, John, 1999. "A folk theorem for one-shot Bertrand games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 59-65, October.
    10. Kala Krishna & Tor Winston, 2003. "If at First You Don't Succeed: Profits, Prices, and Market Structure in a Model of Quality with Unknowable Consumer Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 573-597, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experience goods; Transaction costs; Technical compatibility; Mechanism competition; information goods; sampling; switching costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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