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The economy and society are currently in a digital transformation. Platforms, which frequently change existing structures in a disruptive way, play an important role in this development. Indirect network effects are the driving forces behind the platforms. The extent to which platforms succeed in profitably exploiting indirect network effects depends on the right pricing. The optimal pricing has been well investigated in theory. However, empirical research on this topic is scarce. This is where the author takes his cue. A laboratory experiment was conducted to check whether the theory is a suitable predictor for the results on platform markets within the experimental setting. The results suggest that relative prices are mostly in line with the predictions derived from theory. However, participants charged optimal prices very occasionally. In this respect, the high complexity of pricing on platform markets is relevant. In the theoretical models, cognitive skills and the availability of information are not limiting factors. The human decision-makers in the experiment, on the other hand, were not able to optimize due to these factors. On the contrary, it turned out that participants used simple heuristics for their pricing decision. Thus, the interaction of heuristics and framework conditions is of central importance for the optimality of market results – a question known as ecological rationality. Therefore, this work also provides a basis for the further development of the pricing theory of platforms.
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keywordsExperimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung Heuristiken Industrieökonomik Laborexperiment Netzwerkeffekte Ökologische Rationalität Optimale Preissetzung Plattformmärkte Plattformökonomie Volkswirtschaftslehre Zweiseitige Märkte
Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač
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