The Economics of Sharing Markets

Sharing and redistributing assets between individuals has become a noticeable part of the economy. Ownership is no longer the sole mode of consumption and consumers have the option of choosing between ownership and access-based consumption. This change in the consumer behaviour creates both threats and opportunities for the incumbent firms. In this dissertation, techniques from microeconomics and game theory are utilized to investigate market equilibrium in presence of sharing markets. We focus on the peer-to-peer sharing of rival goods with economic motivations. Chapter 2 provides a robust mathematical model that captures the equilibrium dynamics in peer-to-peer markets. We provide a closed-form solution for the S-shaped evolution of asset sharing, with price-adjustment delays and transaction costs. Chapter 3 studies the effects of sharing markets on the purchase price and durability of new products. We show that the pricing and product design can serve as a strategic tool to exploit or mitigate the impact of a peer-to-peer economy on the manufacturer's profit. Adjusting the built-in durability allows the firm to either defeat sharing (by shutting down the sharing market) or promote it (by offering durable and shareable objects). Chapter 4 develops a model to addresses the question of the firm's optimal adaptation of business model in the presence of sharing markets. We investigate second-degree price discrimination in the form of offering rental and/or purchase options and find that the population's sharing propensity is a major determinant of the firm's optimal selling strategy. As the population's sharing propensity increases, the firm moves from unbundling (exclusive renting), via mixed bundling (selling and renting upon demand), to pure bundling (exclusive selling).

Weber, Thomas Alois
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis8087-0

Note: The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2017-10-16, last modified 2019-12-05

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