Statistics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2012

Publication Source

The Annals of Applied Statistics

Volume

6

Issue

1

Start Page

55

Last Page

82

DOI

10.1214/11-AOAS503

Abstract

We show how a retailer can estimate the optimal price of a new product using observed transaction prices from online second-price auction experiments. For this purpose we propose a Bayesian Pólya tree approach which, given the limited nature of the data, requires a specially tailored implementation. Avoiding the need for a priori parametric assumptions, the Pólya tree approach allows for flexible inference of the valuation distribution, leading to more robust estimation of optimal price than competing parametric approaches. In collaboration with an online jewelry retailer, we illustrate how our methodology can be combined with managerial prior knowledge to estimate the profit maximizing price of a new jewelry product.

Keywords

Bayesian nonparametrics, Pólya tree distribution, second-price auctions, internet auctions, optimal pricing

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.