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Journal ArticleDOI

Advertising and Coordination

01 Jan 1994-The Review of Economic Studies (Oxford University Press)-Vol. 61, Iss: 1, pp 153-171

Abstract: When market information such as price is difficult to communicate, consumers and firms may be unable to take advantage of mutually beneficial scale economies, so that coordination failures arise. Ostensibly uninformative advertising expenditures can be used to eliminate coordination failures, by allowing an efficient firm to communicate implicitly that it offers a low price. This provides a theoretical explanation for Benham's (1972) empirical association of the ability to advertise with lower prices and larger scale. Advertising becomes necessary for optimal coordination when the identity of the efficient firm is uncertain. An application to loss-leader pricing is developed.
Citations
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Posted ContentDOI
Abstract: This chapter offers a comprehensive survey of the economic analysis of advertising. A first objective is to organize the literature in a manner that clarifies what is known. A second objective is to clarify how this knowledge has been obtained. The chapter begins with a discussion of the key initial writings that are associated with the persuasive, informative and complementary views of advertising. Next, work that characterizes empirical regularities between advertising and other variables is considered. Much of this work is conducted at the inter-industry level but important industry studies are also discussed. The chapter then offers several sections that summarize formal economic theories of advertising. In particular, respective sections are devoted to positive and normative theories of monopoly advertising, theories of price and non-price advertising, theories of advertising and product quality, and theories that explore the potential role for advertising in deterring entry. At this point, the chapter considers the empirical support for the formal economic theories of advertising. A summary is provided of empirical work that evaluates the predictions of recent theories of advertising, including work that specifies and estimates explicitly structural models of firm and consumer conduct. This work is characterized by the use of industry (or brand) and even household-level data. The chapter then considers work on endogenous and exogenous sunk cost industries. At a methodological level, this work is integrative in nature: it develops new theory that delivers a few robust predictions, and it then explores the empirical relevance of these predictions at both inter-industry and industry levels. Finally, the chapter considers new directions and other topics. Here, recent work on advertising and media markets is discussed, and research on behavioral economics and neuroeconomics is also featured. A final section offers some concluding thoughts.

886 citations


Cites background from "Advertising and Coordination"

  • ...117Milgrom and Roberts offer an information-theoretic foundation for Bain’s (1949) prediction that an incumbent can deter entry by limit pricing....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: We provide empirical evidence that a firm's overall visibility with investors, as measured by its product market advertising, has important consequences for the stock market. Specifically we show that firms with greater advertising expenditures, ceteris paribus, have a larger number of both individual and institutional investors, and better liquidity of their common stock. Our findings are robust to a variety of methodological approaches and to various measures of liquidity. These results sug

497 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Firms' incentives to manufacture biased user reviews impede review usefulness. We examine the differences in reviews for a given hotel between two sites: Expedia.com (only a customer can post a review) and TripAdvisor.com (anyone can post). We argue that the net gains from promotional reviewing are highest for independent hotels with single-unit owners and lowest for branded chain hotels with multiunit owners. We demonstrate that the hotel neighbors of hotels with a high incentive to fake have more negative reviews on TripAdvisor relative to Expedia; hotels with a high incentive to fake have more positive reviews on TripAdvisor relative to Expedia. (JEL L15, L83, M31)

357 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Online reviews could, in principle, greatly improve the match between consumers and products. However, the authenticity of online user reviews remains a concern; firms have an incentive to manufacture positive reviews for their own products and negative reviews for their rivals. In this paper, we marry the diverse literature on economic subterfuge with the literature on organizational form. We undertake an empirical analysis of promotional reviews, examining both the extent to which fakery occurs and the market conditions that encourage or discourage promotional reviewing activity. Specifically, we examine hotel reviews, exploiting the organizational differences between two travel websites: Expedia.com, and Tripadvisor.com. While anyone can post a review on Tripadvisor, a consumer could only post a review of a hotel on Expedia if the consumer actually booked at least one night at the hotel through the website. We examine differences in the distribution of reviews for a given hotel between Tripadvisor and Expedia. We show in a simple model that the net gains from promotional reviewing are likely to be highest for independent hotels that are owned by single-unit owners and lowest for branded chain hotels that are owned by multi-unit owners. Our methodology thus isolates hotels with a disproportionate incentive to engage in promotional reviewing activity. We show that hotels with a high incentive to fake have a greater share of five star (positive) reviews on Tripadvisor relative to Expedia. Furthermore, we show that the hotel neighbors of hotels with a high incentive to fake have more one and two star (negative) reviews on Tripadvisor relative to Expedia.

340 citations


Cites background from "Advertising and Coordination"

  • ...…its product through the amount of resources invested into advertising (see Nelson (1974), Milgrom and Roberts (1986), Kihlstrom and Riordan (1984), Bagwell and Ramey (1994), Horstmann and Moorthy (2003)) or the advertising content (Anand and Shachar (2009), Anderson and Renault (2006), Mayzlin…...

    [...]


Book ChapterDOI
Kyle Bagwell1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This chapter offers a comprehensive survey of the economic analysis of advertising. A first objective is to organize the literature in a manner that clarifies what is known. A second objective is to clarify how this knowledge has been obtained. The chapter begins with a discussion of the key initial writings that are associated with the persuasive, informative and complementary views of advertising. Next, work that characterizes empirical regularities between advertising and other variables is considered. Much of this work is conducted at the inter-industry level but important industry studies are also discussed. The chapter then offers several sections that summarize formal economic theories of advertising. In particular, respective sections are devoted to positive and normative theories of monopoly advertising, theories of price and non-price advertising, theories of advertising and product quality, and theories that explore the potential role for advertising in deterring entry. At this point, the chapter considers the empirical support for the formal economic theories of advertising. A summary is provided of empirical work that evaluates the predictions of recent theories of advertising, including work that specifies and estimates explicitly structural models of firm and consumer conduct. This work is characterized by the use of industry (or brand) and even household-level data. The chapter then considers work on endogenous and exogenous sunk cost industries. At a methodological level, this work is integrative in nature: it develops new theory that delivers a few robust predictions, and it then explores the empirical relevance of these predictions at both inter-industry and industry levels. Finally, the chapter considers new directions and other topics. Here, recent work on advertising and media markets is discussed, and research on behavioral economics and neuroeconomics is also featured. A final section offers some concluding thoughts.

252 citations


References
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Posted Content

5,886 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Consumers are continually making choices among products, the consequences of which they are but dimly aware. Not only do consumers lack full information about the prices of goods, but their information is probably even poorer about the quality variation of products simply because the latter information is more difficult to obtain. One can, for example, readily determine the price of a television set; it is more difficult to determine its performance characteristics under various conditions or its expected need for repairs. This article contends that limitations of consumer information about quality have profound effects upon the market structure of consumer goods. In particular, monopoly power for a consumer good will be greater if consumers know about the quality of only a few brands of that good. This is a significant departure from the literature. Economists have long been interested in the determinants of monopoly power, but studies have always concentrated on the production function or market-size variables. I try to show that consumer behavior is also relevant to the determination of monopoly power in consumer industries. Location theory has also ignored the consumer's lack of information. Since many trips to a store are, in part, quests for information, the location of retail stores can be profoundly affected by consumer efforts to acquire information. I shall also try to show that advertising and inventory policy are affected by consumer ignorance about quality differences among brands. All of these impacts of consumer ignorance have remained unexplored because economists have not developed a systematic analysis of consumer quests for information about quality differences. Information about quality differs from information about price because the former is usually more expensive to buy than the latter. Indeed this is one reason we expect the variance in the utility of quality facing a consumer to be greater than the variance in the utility of price. This difference in the price of information can lead to fundamentally

5,274 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The conditions under which transactors can use the market (repeat-purchase) mechanism of contract enforcement are examined. Increased price is shown to be a means of assuring contractual performance. A necessary and sufficient condition for performance is the existence of price sufficiently above salvageable production costs so that the nonperforming firm loses a discounted steam of rents on future sales which is greater than the wealth increase from nonperformance. This will generally imply a market price greater than the perfectly competitive price and rationalize investments in firm-specific assets. Advertising investments thereby become a positive indicator of likely performance.

3,567 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
In-Koo Cho1, David M. Kreps2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Games in which one party conveys private information to a second through messages typically admit large numbers of sequential equilibria, as the second party may entertain a wealth of beliefs in response to out-of-equilibrium messages. By restricting those out-of equilibrium beliefs, one can sometimes eliminate many unintuitive equilibria. We present a number of formal restrictions of this sort, investigate their behavior in specific examples, and relate these restrictions to Kohlberg and Mertens` notion of stability.

3,114 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper tries to show how the major features of the behavior of advertising can be explained by advertising's information function. For search qualities advertising provides direct information about the characteristics of a brand. For experience qualities the most important information conveyed by advertising is simply that the brand advertises. This contrast in advertising by these qualities leads to significant differences in its behavior. How does advertising provide information to the consumer? The producer in his advertising is not interested directly in providing information for consumers. He is interested in selling more of his product. Subject to a few constraints, the advertising message says anything the seller of a brand wishes. A mechanism is required to make the selling job of advertising generate information to the consumer. [Авторский текст]

2,940 citations


Network Information
Related Papers (5)
01 Jul 1974, Journal of Political Economy

Phillip J. Nelson

01 Jun 1984, Journal of Political Economy

Richard E. Kihlstrom, Michael H. Riordan

01 Jan 1988

Jean Tirole

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