Signaling Quality in the Presence of Observational Learning
Nicolás Figueroa; Carla Guadalupi
Review of Industrial Organization, May 2020. 56, Pages 515–534
Abstract: We study the optimar pricing strategy for a privately informed monopolist in the presence of observational learning. Early adopters learn quality before purchasing the product. Late adopters learn quality from first-period price and early adopters’ purchase decisions. Prices generate revenues, signal quality, and determine information transmission through observational learning. Separation may occur through either high or low prices, depending on the elasticity of early adopters’s demand. When demand for good-quality products is less elastic, high prices are less costly for high-type firms due to static and dynamic effects. High-type firms are marginally less affected by high-prices, since they lose fewer consumers. Moreover, early sales at higher prices carry good news about quality to late adopters. The opposite occurs when the demand for good-quality products is more elastic.
Keywords: Early adopters, Monopoly, Pricing Strategy, Signaling.
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