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Price Dispersion on the Internet: Good Firms and Bad Firms

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  • Baylis, Kathy
  • Perloff, Jeffrey M.

Abstract

Internet firms charge a wide range of prices for such homogeneous products, and high-priced firms remain high-priced and low-priced firms remain low-priced over long periods. One explanation is that high-price firms are charging a premium for superior service. An alternative explanation is that firms price discriminate across informed and uniformed consumers (Salop and Stiglitz 1977) or between serious shoppers and others (Wilde and Schwartz 1979). The pricing pattern for a digital camera and a flatbed scanner is consistent with the price-discrimination model and inconsistent with the service-premium story.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt2t0770rn.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt2t0770rn

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  1. Arnold, Michael A, 2000. "Costly Search, Capacity Constraints, and Bertrand Equilibrium Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 117-31, February.
  2. Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Shilony, Yuval, 1977. "Mixed pricing in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 373-388, April.
  4. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  5. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
  6. Wilde, Louis L & Schwartz, Alan, 1979. "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 543-53, July.
  7. Conlisk, John & Gerstner, Eitan & Sobel, Joel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505, August.
  8. James D. Dana Jr., 1999. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion Under Demand Uncertainty: The Roles of Costly Capacity and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 632-660, Winter.
  9. Stokey, Nancy L, 1979. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 355-71, August.
  10. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and ripoffs: a model of monopolistically competitive price dispersion," Special Studies Papers 94, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
  12. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  13. Nancy L. Stokey, 1981. "Rational Expectations and Durable Goods Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 112-128, Spring.
  14. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven C, 1986. "Firm-Specific Information, Product Differentiation, and Industry Equilibrium," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 184-202, Suppl. No.
  15. David, Douglas D & Holt, Charles A, 1996. "Consumer Search Costs and Market Performance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 133-51, January.
  16. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
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