Ordered search and equilibrium obfuscation
AbstractThis paper demonstrates the incentives for an oligopolist to obfuscate by deliberately increasing the cost with which consumers can locate its product and price. Consumers are allowed to choose the optimal order in which to search firms and firms are able to influence this order through their choice of search costs and prices. Competition does not ensure market transparency -- equilibrium search costs are positive and asymmetric across firms. Intuitively, an obfuscating firm can soften the competition for consumers with low time costs by inducing the remaining consumers to optimally first search its rival.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.
Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551
Search costs Advertising Search order;
Other versions of this item:
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
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