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E-Commerce and the Market Structure of Retail Industries

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  • Maris Goldmanis
  • Ali Hortaçsu
  • Chad Syverson
  • �nsel Emre

Abstract

This article examines the effect of the advent and diffusion of e-commerce on supply-side industry structure. We specify a general industry model involving consumers with differing search costs buying products from heterogeneous producers. We interpret e-commerce as a reduction in consumers' search costs. We show how it reallocates market shares from high-cost to low-cost producers. We test the model using US data for three industries: travel agencies, bookstores and new car dealers. Each industry exhibits the market share shifts predicted by the model but the mechanisms vary, ranging from aggregate factors in the travel industry to local-market factors in the other two industries. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 545 (06)
Pages: 651-682

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:545:p:651-682

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  1. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  2. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
  3. Rauh, Michael T., 2009. "Strategic complementarities and search market equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 959-978, July.
  4. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
  5. Rauh, Michael T., 2007. "Nonstandard foundations of equilibrium search models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 518-529, January.
  6. Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  8. Ali Hortaç Su & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, And Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456, May.
  9. Karen Clay & Ramayya Krishnan & Eric Wolff, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," NBER Working Papers 8271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
  11. Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, and Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of the S&P 500 Index Funds," NBER Working Papers 9728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
  13. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  14. Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  15. Clay, Karen, et al, 2002. "Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-price Competition in the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
  16. Benabou Roland, 1993. "Search Market Equilibrium, Bilateral Heterogeneity, and Repeat Purchases," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 140-158, June.
  17. Simon Latcovich & Howard Smith, 2001. "Pricing, Sunk Costs, and Market Structure Online: Evidence from," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 217-234, Summer.
  18. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  19. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  20. Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-19, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fershtman, Chaim & Fishman, Arthur & Zhou, Jidong, 2013. "Search and Categorization," MPRA Paper 53166, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ginger Zhe Jin & Marc Rysman, 2012. "Platform Pricing at Sports Card Conventions," NBER Working Papers 17959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2008. "Market Structure and the Diffusion of E-Commerce: Evidence from the Retail Banking Industry," Working Papers 08-32, Bank of Canada.
  4. Lendle, Andreas & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Schropp, Simon & Vézina, Pierre-Louis, 2012. "There goes gravity: how eBay reduces trade costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lach, Saul & Moraga-González, José-Luis, 2009. "Asymmetric Price Effects of Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 7319, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Zentner, Alejandro, 2008. "Online sales, Internet use, file sharing, and the decline of retail music specialty stores," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 288-300, September.
  7. Robert Clark & Jason Allen & Jean-Francois Houde, 2010. "Price negotiation in differentiated product markets: An analysis of the market for insured mortgages in Canada," 2010 Meeting Papers 1072, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Marc Rysman & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2012. "Platform Pricing at Sports Card Conventions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-015, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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