Marketing Letters

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 381-389

First online:

A reflection on analytical work in marketing: Three points of consensus

  • Raphael ThomadsenAffiliated withUCLA Anderson School of Management
  • , Robert ZeithammerAffiliated withUCLA Anderson School of Management Email author 
  • , Ganesh IyerAffiliated withBerkeley Haas School of Business
  • , Dina MayzlinAffiliated withYale School of Management
  • , Yesim OrhunAffiliated withRoss School of Business, University of Michigan
  • , Amit PazgalAffiliated withJones School of Business, Rice University
  • , Devavrat PurohitAffiliated withDuke Fuqua School of Business
  • , Ram RaoAffiliated withSchool of Management, University of Texas at Dallas
  • , Michael RiordanAffiliated withColumbia University
    • , Jiwoong ShinAffiliated withYale School of Management
    • , Monic SunAffiliated withStanford Graduate School of Business
    • , Miguel Villas-BoasAffiliated withBerkeley Haas School of Business

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This article presents three points of consensus about game-theoretic work in marketing: First, equilibrium analysis is necessary for studying situations that have strategic interactions. In many cases, empirical examination of these strategic scenarios is difficult or impossible, at least without the guidance of an equilibrium model. Second, more general models are not necessarily “better,” because institutional details matter. Thus, the appropriate compromise between generality and specificity depends on the scope of the research question. Finally, there should be a two-way road between theory and empirics—theory is necessary to interpret empirical results, while empirical findings should guide theoretical modeling choices.


Analytical work Marketing Game theory Equilibrium analysis