Sequential selling and information dissemination in the presence of network effects

Date: 2014-10
By: Junjie Zhou (School of International Business Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 777 Guoding Road, Shanghai, 200433, China)
Ying-Ju Chen (School of Business and Management & School of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
In this paper, we examine how a seller sells a product/service with a positive consumption externality, and customers are uncertain about the product’s/service’s value. Because early adopters learn this value, we consider the customers’ intrinsic signaling incentives and positive feedback effects. Anticipating this, the seller commits to provide price discounts to the followers, and charges the leader a high price. Thus, the profit-maximizing pricing features the cream skimming strategy. We also show that the lack of seller’s commitment is detrimental to the social welfare; nonetheless, the sequential selling still boosts up the seller’s profit. Embedding a physical network with arbitrary payoff externality among customers, we investigate the optimal targeting strategy in the presence of information asymmetry. We provide precise indices for this leader selection problem. For undirected graphs, we should simply choose the player with the highest degree, irrespective of the seller’s commitment power. Going beyond this family of networks, in general the seller’s commitment power affects the optimal targeting strategy.
Keywords: revenue management; signaling; information transmission; social networks;
JEL: D82 L14 L15

Partial Revelation of Information in Experimental Asset Markets

Thomas E. Copeland and Daniel Friedman  “Partial Revelation of Information in Experimental Asset Markets." Journal of Finance, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 265-295.


We develop a model of market efficiency assuming private information is partially revealed to uninformed traders via the behavior of those who are informed. This partial revelation of information (PRE) model is tested in fourteen computerized double auction laboratory markets. It explains the market value and allocation of purchased information, and asset allocations, better than either a fully revealing information model (FRE strong-form efficiency) or a nonrevealing expectations model; but it takes second place to FRE in explaining asset prices. We conjecture that refined versions of PRE may provide insight into “technical analysis" and minibubbles in securities markets.