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On the role of consumer expectations in markets with network effects

  • Suleymanova, Irina
  • Wey, Christian

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.

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Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 13.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:13
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  1. Paul Klemperer & Joseph Farrell, 2006. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Economics Series Working Papers 2006-W07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. 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 1109-16, October.
  3. 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.
  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. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521805001 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521800952 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Anette Boom & Pio Baake, . "Vertical Product Differentiation, Network Externalities, and Compatibility Decisions," Papers 010, Departmental Working Papers.
  8. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
  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.
  10. Eirik Kristiansen & Marcel Thum, 1997. "R&D incentives in compatible networks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 55-78, February.
  11. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
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