The Informativeness of Prices: Search With Learning and Cost Uncertainty
AbstractAggregate cost uncertainty, arising from real shocks or unanticipated inflation, reduces the informativeness of prices by scrambling relative and aggregate variations. But when agents can acquire additional information, such increased noise may in fact lead them to become better informed, and price competition will intensify. We examine these issues in a model of search with learning, where consumers search optimally from an unknown price distribution while firms price optimally given consumers' search rules. We show that the decisive factor in whether inflation variability increases or reduces the incentive to search, and thereby market efficiency, is the size of informational costs.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3833.
Date of creation: Sep 1991
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
- Pagan, A R & Hall, A D & Trivedi, P K, 1983. "Assessing the Variability of Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 585-96, October.
- Stanley Fischer, 1981. "Relative Shocks, Relative Price Variability, and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 381-442.
- Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
- Rosenfield, Donald B. & Shapiro, Roy D., 1981. "Optimal adaptive price search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, August.
- Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Hercowitz, Zvi, 1981.
"Money and the Dispersion of Relative Prices,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 328-56, April.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
- Cukierman, Alex, 1983. "Relative price variability and inflation: A survey and further results," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 103-157, January.
- Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "The Welfare Effects of Inflation, The Consequences of Price Instability on Search Markets," UCLA Economics Working Papers 655, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Mariano Tommasi, 1993. "The Consequences of Price Instability on Search Markets," UCLA Economics Working Papers 700, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1993.
"Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
4267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.