【主题】Complementarity between online and offline businesses
【点评】刘瑞明 中国人民大学 副教授
【摘要】We develop a theoretical model to study the complementarity between online and offline businesses. In a Salop circular city, a firm can choose to open only an online shop, to be located at the center of the city, or only physical shops, to be built along the circumference, or both online and physical shops. We illustrate two layers of complementarity between online and offline businesses. First, the online shop helps sell to consumers that are too costly to reach by offline shops. Secondly, when product quality is private information, which consumers cannot physically inspect and directly verify in the online shop, the offline shops generate an informed-consumer base which allows the online price to credibly reveal product quality. We further show that, when the variance of quality difference is large, social learning helps reduce the number of physical shops required for the online price to be informative. When the quality difference is small, for the online price to be informative, the firm not only needs a sufficiently strong social learning, but also needs the informed-consumer base to be sufficiently small.
陈益卷，美国宾夕法尼亚大学经济学博士，澳大利亚国立大学副教授。研究领域为产业组织理论，卫生经济学。已经在Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics Journal of Mathematical Economics等国际知名期刊上发表多篇论文。