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Do lower search costs reduce prices and price dispersion?

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  • Pereira, Pedro

Abstract

This paper presents a search model, for which a decrease in the search cost may lead to lower prices and to a lower price variance, but may also lead to the opposite. This result contrasts with some predictions about the impact of the Internet on prices, but fits well with the empirical literature on e-commerce.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 17 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 61-72

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:17:y:2005:i:1:p:61-72

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
  3. 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.
  4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  5. Pereira, Pedro, 2001. "Market power, cost reduction and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1457-1473, November.
  6. Dennis W. Carlton & Judith A. Chevalier, 2001. "Free Riding and Sales Strategies for the Internet," NBER Working Papers 8067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
  8. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1990. "Advertising and Coordination," Discussion Papers 903, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Benabou, Roland, 1988. "Search market equilibrium bilateral heterogeneity and repeat purchases," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8806, CEPREMAP.
  10. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Search costs and prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 55-60, January.
  11. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  12. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1979. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 851-58, August.
  13. Eric K. Clemons & Il-Horn Hann & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Differentiation in Online Travel: An Empirical Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(4), pages 534-549, April.
  14. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Pedro Pereira & José C. Pernías-Cerrillo, 2005. "Competing Against Simulated Equilibrium Price Dispersions: An Experiment On Internet-Assisted Search Markets," Working Papers 05-12, NET Institute.
  2. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Pedro Pereira & José C. Pernías-Cerrillo, 2004. "Risk Attitudes and Internet Search Engines: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 04-03, NET Institute, revised Oct 2004.

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