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On the role of consumer expectations in markets with network effects

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  • Suleymanova, Irina
  • Wey, Christian

Abstract

We analyze the role of consumer expectations in a Hotelling model of price competition when products exhibit network effects. Expectations can be strong (stubborn), weak (price-sensitive) or partially stubborn (a mix of weak and strong). As a rule, the price-sensitivity of demand declines when expectations are more stubborn. An increase of stubbornness i) reduces competition, ii) increases (decreases) the parameter region with a unique duopoly equilibrium (multiple equilibria), iii) reduces the conflict between consumer and social preferences for de facto standardization, and iv) reduces the misalignment between consumer and social preferences for compatibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Suleymanova, Irina & Wey, Christian, 2010. "On the role of consumer expectations in markets with network effects," DICE Discussion Papers 13, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eirik Kristiansen & Marcel Thum, 1997. "R&D incentives in compatible networks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 55-78, February.
    2. Baake, Pio & Boom, Anette, 2001. "Vertical product differentiation, network externalities, and compatibility decisions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 267-284, January.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1109-1116, October.
    4. Grilo, Isabel & Shy, Oz & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2001. "Price competition when consumer behavior is characterized by conformity or vanity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 385-408, June.
    5. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
    6. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521805001, March.
    7. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
    8. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    9. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Snobs, bandwagons, and the origin of social customs in consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 333-347, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shekhar, Shiva, 2017. "Homing choice and platform pricing strategy," DICE Discussion Papers 247, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    2. Corrado Benassi & Marcella Scrimitore, 2017. "Income Distribution in Network Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 251-271, September.
    3. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
    4. Suleymanova Irina & Wey Christian, 2011. "Bertrand Competition in Markets with Network Effects and Switching Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-58, September.
    5. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Clémence Christin, 2013. "Entry Deterrence Through Cooperative R&D Over-Investment," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(2), pages 5-26.
    7. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
    8. Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2017. "On consumer expectations in a network goods market: The monopoly case," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 488-493.
    9. Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2016. "Stubbornness is unprofitable: On the role of consumer expectations in a monopoly network goods market," Discussion Paper Series 152, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Dec 2016.
    10. Doganoglu Toker & Grzybowski Lukasz, 2013. "Dynamic Duopoly Competition with Switching Costs and Network Externalities," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    11. repec:kap:jincot:v:17:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10842-016-0235-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Network Effects; Expectations; Duopoly; Compatibility; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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