Publicly announced access recommendations and consumers’ service time choices with uncertain congestion

This article investigates consumers’ anticipation of other consumers’ service time choices in capacity-constrained services and how this is affected by publicly announced access recommendations. Empirical results from an experiment with simulated congestion experiences show that the impact of consumers’ anticipation of other consumers’ service time choices is lower for first-time than for the repeated encounters. Despite consumers greater information need in first-time encounters, we predict that the impact of publicly announced access recommendations is lower in first-time than in repeated service encounters. The reason is that consumers have not yet learned how to take into account the impact of recommendations on other consumers’ choices. However, we hypothesize that consumers do benefit from recommendations in that recommendations allow them to better anticipate other consumers’ choices and are also able to learn about others’ choices sooner than in case no recommendations are provided.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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