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Competing for Consumer Inattention

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  • Geoffroy De Clippel
  • Kfir Eliaz
  • Kareen Rozen

Abstract

Consumers purchase multiple types of goods and services, but may be able to examine only a limited number of markets for the best price. We propose a simple model which captures these features, conveying some new insights. A firm's price can deflect or draw attention to its market, and consequently, limited attention introduces a new dimension of competition across markets. We fully characterize the resulting equilibrium, and show that the presence of partially attentive consumers improves consumer welfare as a whole. When consumers are less attentive, they are more likely to miss the best offer in each market; but the enhanced cross-market competition decreases average price paid, as leading firms try to stay under the consumers' radar.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 786969000000000765.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000765

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  1. Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
  2. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 1969. "Competition for Attention," Working Paper 76811, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David I., 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  6. John K.‐H. Quah & Bruno Strulovici, 2012. "Aggregating the Single Crossing Property," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2333-2348, 09.
  7. 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.).
  8. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1980. "A Model in Which an Increase in the Number of Sellers Leads to a Higher Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1575-79, September.
  9. Spiegler, Ran, 2014. "Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199334261.
  10. Mark Armstrong & Yongmin Chen, 2009. "Inattentive Consumers and Product Quality," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 411-422, 04-05.
  11. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Laura Doval, 2013. "Whether or not to open Pandora's box," Discussion Papers 1574, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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