Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Optimal Contracting Of New Experience Goods

Deb, Rahul (2008): Optimal Contracting Of New Experience Goods.

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We model new experience goods in the context of dynamic mechanism design. These are goods for which an agent is unsure of her valuation but can learn it through consumption experience. We consider a dynamic environment with a single buyer and seller in which contracting occurs over T periods, where each time the agent consumes the object, she receives a signal which allows her to revise her valuation. In this setting, experimentation with the product is strategic both for the buyer and seller. We derive the efficient and seller optimal contracts and compare them. We present a simple two period example which highlights some of the key features of the model. Finally, the methodology developed in the paper can be used to design efficient and optimal contracts in a multi-buyer setting with learning, where each buyer has single unit demand and there is a single object for sale in each period.

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