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Market experimentation in a dynamic differentiated-goods duopoly

Keller, Godfrey and Rady, Sven (1999) Market experimentation in a dynamic differentiated-goods duopoly. TE, 369. Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

We study the evolution of prices in a symmetric duopoly where firms are uncertain about the degree of product differentiation. Customers sometimes perceive the products as close substitutes, sometimes as highly differentiated. Firms learn about their competitive environment from the quantities sold and a background signal. As the information of the market outcomes increases with the price differential, there is scope for active learning. In a setting with linear demand curves, we derive firms' pricing strategies as payoff-symmetric mixed or correlated Markov perfect equilibria of a stochastic differential game where the common posterior belief is the natural state variable. When information has low value, firms charge the same price as would be set by myopic players, and there is no price dispersion. When firms value information more highly, on the other hand, they actively learn by creating price dispersion. This market experimentation is transient, and most likely to be observed when the firms' environment changes sufficiently often, but not too frequently.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 1999 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory > C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
D - Microeconomics > D4 - Market Structure and Pricing > D43 - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 369
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008 09:29
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19346/

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