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Tracking Customer Search to Price Discriminate

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  • Cary A. Deck
  • Bart J. Wilson

Abstract

The electronic technologies of the Internet make it possible for sellers to track potential customers and discriminate between the informed and uninformed. In this article, we report an experiment that investigates the market impact of firms tracking customers and offering discriminatory prices based on search history. We find that consumers, on average, face the same prices when sellers have the ability to track customers and price discriminate as when sellers post a single price for all buyers. However, informed buyers receive lower prices when sellers can detect buyer search, whereas uninformed buyers receive lower prices when firms cannot track customers. (JEL D43, L13, C92) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 44 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 280-295

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:280-295

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Cited by:
  1. Vernon L. Smith, 2003. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
  2. Deck, Cary & Gu, Jingping, 2012. "Price increasing competition? Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 730-740.
  3. Taylor Jaworskiy & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2012. "An Experimental Examination of Asset Pricing Under Market Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp12-21, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.

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