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Pricing in a market without apparent horizontal differentiation: Evidence from web hosting services

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  • Michael Thompson
  • Steve Thompson
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    Abstract

    This article explores pricing in a product lacking the conventional attributes of horizontal differentiation—physical location, design, color, etc.—and whose vertical characteristics are precisely specified and capable of rapid imitation. Web hosting exhibits low entry barriers, high turnover and low concentration. We use an electronically collected database covering over 17,500 US and UK product offerings, and find that after controlling for quality reputation and e-visibility characteristics exert a strong positive impact on price. This result from a heterogeneous B2B market, without horizontal differentiation, complements homogeneous B2C research elsewhere in suggesting that price disparities persist, even in ultra-competitive e-markets.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10438590500418968
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 649-663

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:15:y:2006:i:7:p:649-663

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/GEIN20

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/GEIN20

    Related research

    Keywords: Horizontal differentiation; Web hosting; Hedonic pricing;

    References

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    1. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
    2. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-39, December.
    3. Ernst R. Berndt & Robert S. Pindyck & Pierre Azoulay, 2003. "Consumption Externalities and Diffusion in Pharmaceutical Markets: Antiulcer Drugs," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 243-270, 06.
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    5. 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, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
    6. Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999, Society for Computational Economics 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
    7. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, 03.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    9. David Lucking-Reiley & Daniel F. Spulber, 2001. "Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 55-68, Winter.
    10. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kaminski, Bogumil & Latek, Maciej, 2012. "A Simple Model of Bertrand Duopoly with Noisy Prices," MPRA Paper 41333, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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