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Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations

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  • Spiegler, Ran

    ()
    (Tel Aviv University)

Abstract

I study a market model in which profit-maximizing firms compete in multi-dimensional pricing strategies over a consumer, who is limited in his ability to grasp such complicated objects and therefore uses a sampling procedure to evaluate them. Firms respond to increased competition with an increased effort to obfuscate, rather than with more competitive pricing. As a result, consumer welfare is not enhanced and may even deteriorate. Specifically, when firms control both the price and the quality of each dimension, and there are diminishing returns to quality, increased competition implies an efficiency loss which is entirely borne by consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 207-231

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:144

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Web page: http://econtheory.org

Related research

Keywords: Bounded rationality; industrial organization; multi-dimensional pricing; law of small numbers; market exploitation; obfuscation;

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  1. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
  2. Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Inference by Believers in the Law of Small Numbers," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0012002, EconWPA.
  3. Stefano Della Vigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402, May.
  4. Rani Spiegler, 2005. "The Market for Quacks," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000634, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Osborne, Martin J & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1998. "Games with Procedurally Rational Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 834-47, September.
  6. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1993. "On Price Recognition and Computational Complexity in a Monopolistic Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 473-84, June.
  7. Michele Piccione & Ariel Rubinstein, 2002. "Modelling the Economic Interaction of Agents with Diverse Abilities to Recognise Equilibrium Patterns," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 440, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2004. "Contracting with Diversely Naïve Agents," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000530, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Wilson, Charles A, 1988. "On the Optimal Pricing Policy of a Monopolist," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 164-76, February.
  10. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, 03.
  11. Roger B. Myerson, 1992. "Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities under Alternative Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1000, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Salop, Steven, 1977. "The Noisy Monopolist: Imperfect Information, Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 393-406, October.
  13. Lal, Rajiv & Matutes, Carmen, 1994. "Retail Pricing and Advertising Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 345-70, July.
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