AbstractAre price-matching guarantees anticompetitive? We examine the incentives for price-matching guarantees in markets where information about prices is costly. The conventional explanation of price matching as facilitating cartel pricing finds some theoretical support, but our model provides an additional explanation. A price-matching guarantee may be a credible and easily understood means of communicating to uninformed consumers that a firm is low priced. The credibility of the signal is assured by the behavior of informed consumers. We contrast the testable implications of our model with those arising from two theories of price matching as anticompetitive, and show that available evidence supports the signalling theory.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0741-6261
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aaron S. Edlin & Eric R. Emch, 1998.
"The Welfare Losses from Price Matching Policies,"
Law and Economics
9803001, EconWPA, revised 26 May 1998.
- d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, .
"On Hotelling's "Stability in competition","
CORE Discussion Papers RP
-385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Katz, Michael L., 1989. "Vertical contractual relations," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 655-721 Elsevier.
- Yuxin Chen & Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Z. John Zhang, 2001. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Competitive Price-Matching Guarantees," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 300-314, June.
- Jacquemin, Alexis & Slade, Margaret E., 1989. "Cartels, collusion, and horizontal merger," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 415-473 Elsevier.
- Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 1999. "Hassle Costs: The Achilles' Heel of Price-Matching Guarantees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 489-521, December.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980.
"On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
- Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
- Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
- Zhiqi Chen, 1995.
"How Low Is a Guaranteed-Lowest-Price?,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 683-701, August.
- Zhiqi Chen, 1993. "How Low is a Garanteed-Lowest-Price?," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 93-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
- Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
- Norovsambuu Tumennasan, 2011.
"Quantity Precommitment and Price Matching,"
Economics Working Papers
2011-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- Norovsambuu Tumennasan & Mongoljin Batsaikhan, 2013. "Price-Matching leads to the Cournot Outcome," Economics Working Papers 2013-12, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Parakhonyak, Alexei, 2013. "Price matching guarantees and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-11.
- Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Ivan P.L. Png, 2005. "Sales and Promotions: A More General Model," Industrial Organization 0508014, EconWPA.
- Datta, Shakun & Offenberg, Jennifer, 2003.
"An Experimental Examination of Competitor-Based Price Matching Guarantees,"
575, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Oct 2006.
- Mago, Shakun Datta & Pate, Jennifer G., 2009. "An experimental examination of competitor-based price matching guarantees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 342-360, May.
- Arcan Nalca & Tamer Boyaci & Saibal Ray, 2010. "Competitive price-matching guarantees under imperfect store availability," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 275-300, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.