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Price-Matching Guarantees

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Author Info

  • Sridhar Moorthy

    (University of Toronto)

  • Ralph Winter

    (University of British Columbia)

Abstract

Are price-matching guarantees anticompetitive? This paper examines the incentives for price-matching guarantees in markets where information about prices is costly. Under some conditions the conventional explanation of price-matching announcements as facilitating collusion finds support, and is even strengthened. But our model provides an additional explanation for the practice. A price-matching guarantee may be a credible and easily understood means of communicating to uninformed consumers that a firm is low-priced. The credibility of the signal to uninformed consumers is assured by the behaviour of informed consumers. We contrast the testable implications of our model with those of the anticompetitive theories and discuss supportive evidence from an illustrative sample of retailers.

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File URL: http://www.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=roms
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Berkeley Electronic Press in its series Review of Marketing Science Working Papers with number 2-1-1020.

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Date of creation: 06 Dec 2002
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Handle: RePEc:bep:rmswpp:2-1-1020

Note: oai:bepress:roms-1020
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References

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  1. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  2. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  3. Edlin, Aaron S & Emch, Eric R, 1999. "The Welfare Losses from Price-Matching Policies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 145-67, June.
  4. Yuxin Chen & Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Z. John Zhang, 2001. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Competitive Price-Matching Guarantees," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 300-314, June.
  5. Katz, Michael L., 1989. "Vertical contractual relations," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 655-721 Elsevier.
  6. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP -385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Zhiqi Chen, 1993. "How Low is a Garanteed-Lowest-Price?," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 93-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  8. Jacquemin, Alexis & Slade, Margaret E., 1989. "Cartels, collusion, and horizontal merger," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 415-473 Elsevier.
  9. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  10. Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 1999. "Hassle Costs: The Achilles' Heel of Price-Matching Guarantees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 489-521, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Price Mathing Guarantees and Consumer Search," HSE Working papers WP BRP 03/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  2. Arcan Nalca & Tamer Boyaci & Saibal Ray, 2010. "Competitive price-matching guarantees under imperfect store availability," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 275-300, September.
  3. Mago, Shakun Datta & Pate, Jennifer G., 2009. "An experimental examination of competitor-based price matching guarantees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 342-360, May.
  4. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Ivan P.L. Png, 2005. "Sales and Promotions: A More General Model," Industrial Organization 0508014, EconWPA.

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