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Consumers networks and search equilibria

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  • Galeotti, Andrea

Abstract

We explore the effect of local information sharing among consumers on market functioning. Consumers are embedded in a consumers network, they may costly search non-sequentially for price quotations and the information gather are non-excludable along direct links. We first show that when search costs are low consumers randomize between searching for one price and two price quotations (high search intensity equilibrium). Otherwise, consumers randomize between searching for one price and not searching at all (low search intensity equilibrium). In both equilibria consumers search less frequently in denser networks. The main result of the paper show that when search costs are low the expected price and the social welfare increase, while the consumer surplus decreases, as the consumers network becomes denser. These results are reverse when search costs are high.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1225.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1225

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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Keywords: Networks; local externalities; non-sequential search;

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References

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  1. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1997. "Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information," Virginia Economics Online Papers 338, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  2. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
  3. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  5. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2000. "Networks of Collaboration in Oligopoly," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-092/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G., 1997. "Steady State Price Distributions in a Noisy Search Equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-32, January.
  7. Bester, Helmut, 1994. "Price commitment in search markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-120, September.
  8. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
  9. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Jose Luis Moraga, 2000. "Pricing, Consumer Search and the Size of Internet Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-042/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  11. Morgan, Peter & Manning, Richard, 1985. "Optimal Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 923-44, July.
  12. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
  13. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  14. Braverman, Avishay, 1980. "Consumer Search and Alternative Market Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 487-502, April.
  15. Rachel E. Kranton & Deborah F. Minehart, 2001. "A Theory of Buyer-Seller Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 485-508, June.
  16. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Itay Fainmesser, 2010. "Community Structure and Market Outcomes: A Repeated Games in Networks Approach," Working Papers 2010-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2008. "Network Games," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/07, European University Institute.
    • Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
  3. Christian Ghiglino & Sanjeev Goyal, 2008. "Keeping up with the neighbours: social interaction in a market economy," Economics Discussion Papers 655, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. NAVARRO, Noemí, 2006. "Asymmetric information, word-of-mouth and social networks: from the market for lemons to efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers 2006002, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal, 2007. "Games of Social Influence," Economics Discussion Papers 639, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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