Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Search and Product Differentiation at an Internet Shopbot

Contents:

Author Info

  • Brynjolfsson, Erik
  • Dick, Astrid Andrea
  • Smith, Michael D.

Abstract

Price dispersion among commodity goods is typically attributed to consumer search costs. We explore the magnitude of consumer search costs using a data set obtained from a major Internet shopbot. For the median consumer, the benefits to searching lower screens are $2.24 while the cost of an exhaustive search of the offers is a maximum of $2.03. Interestingly, in our setting, consumers who search more intensively are less price sensitive than other consumers, reflecting their increased weight on retailer differentiation in delivery time and reliability. Our results demonstrate that even in this nearly-perfect market, substantial price dispersion can exist in equilibrium from consumers preferences over both price and non-price attributes

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/5046
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4441-03.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 05 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5046

Contact details of provider:
Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: 617-253-2659
Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

Related research

Keywords: search costs; shopbot; product differentiation; random coefficients choice model;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  2. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Austan Goolsbee & Judith Chevalier, 2002. "Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm290, Yale School of Management, revised 12 Sep 2008.
  5. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Smith, Michael D. & Yu, (Jeffrey) Hu, 2003. "Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product Variety at Online Booksellers," Working papers 4305-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  7. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  8. Anderson, S.P. & Renault, R., 1997. "Pricing, Product Diversity and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," Papers 97.481, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  9. Birger Wernerfelt, 1988. "Umbrella Branding as a Signal of New Product Quality: An Example of Signalling by Posting a Bond," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 458-466, Autumn.
  10. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  11. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, 03.
  12. Harvey S. Rosen & Kenneth A. Small, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," NBER Working Papers 0319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan T. Sorensen, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion in Retail Markets for Prescription Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 833-862, August.
  14. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Persistent Price Dispersion in Online Markets," Working Papers 2006-12, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  15. Peter E. Rossi & Robert E. McCulloch & Greg M. Allenby, 1996. "The Value of Purchase History Data in Target Marketing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(4), pages 321-340.
  16. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive?," NBER Working Papers 7996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  18. Nevo, Aviv, 1999. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt7cm5p858, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  19. Shugan, Steven M, 1980. " The Cost of Thinking," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 99-111, Se.
  20. Clay, Karen, et al, 2002. "Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-price Competition in the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
  21. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  22. Johnson, Eric J & Russo, J Edward, 1984. " Product Familiarity and Learning New Information," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 542-50, June.
  23. Rob, Rafael, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504, July.
  24. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  25. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  2. Lesley Chiou, 2005. "Empirical Analysis of Retail Competition: Spatial Differentiation at Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Their Competitors," Occidental Economics Working Papers 3, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2006.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5046. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.