Journal Article | Abante: Estudios en dirección de empresas | 1998

Ford's Model-T: Pricing over the Product Life Cycle

by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell


The pricing decisions monopolistic firms make over time are determined to a large extent by the complex interplay of two distinct sets of elements: demand- and supply-based considerations. Demand factors include the possibilities of (a) exercising dynamic price discrimination, and (b) enhancing information diffusion about the product's characteristics. The main cost (i.e., supply) element influencing pricing over the Product Life Cycle is the possibility to exploit learning economies. Although these two sets of factors — demand and supply — are inter-linked in complex ways, I will propose a methodology to separate them. I will apply this procedure to the case of Ford's Model-T. We will be able to disentangle by how much demand issues (as opposed to cost based factors) affected the level and slope of the observed price sequence. I will also point out some issues regarding experience curve estimation and will outline a technique that allows for endogenous generation of sales and unit cost predictions.

Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Decisions; Forecasting and Prediction; Cost; Price; Information; Demand and Consumers; Monopoly; Product; Sales; Complexity; Auto Industry;


Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon. "Ford's Model-T: Pricing over the Product Life Cycle." Abante: Estudios en dirección de empresas 1, no. 2 (1998): 143–65.