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Do Lower Search Costs Reduce Prices and Price Dispersion?

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  • Pedro Pereira

    ()
    (Autoridade da Concorrência)

Abstract

This paper presents a search model, for which a decrease in the search cost may lead to lower prices and to a lower price variance, but may also lead to the opposite. This result contrasts with some predictions about the impact of the Internet on prices, but fits well with the empirical literature on e-commerce.

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File Function: First version, 2004
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Portuguese Competition Authority in its series Working Papers with number 04.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pca:wpaper:04

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Related research

Keywords: Search; Price Levels; Price Dispersion;

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References

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  1. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-39, December.
  2. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
  3. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
  4. Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Discussion Papers 335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Bagwell, Kyle & Ramey, Garey, 1994. "Advertising and Coordination," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 153-72, January.
  6. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
  7. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998. "Sequential Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 237, David K. Levine.
  8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  9. Dennis W. Carlton & Judith A. Chevalier, 2001. "Free Riding and Sales Strategies for the Internet," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 441-461 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
  11. Pereira, Pedro, 2001. "Market power, cost reduction and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1457-1473, November.
  12. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Search costs and prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 55-60, January.
  13. Benabou, Roland, 1988. "Search market equilibrium bilateral heterogeneity and repeat purchases," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8806, CEPREMAP.
  14. Eric K. Clemons & Il-Horn Hann & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Differentiation in Online Travel: An Empirical Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(4), pages 534-549, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Pedro Pereira & José C. Pernías-Cerrillo, 2005. "Competing Against Simulated Equilibrium Price Dispersions: An Experiment On Internet-Assisted Search Markets," Working Papers 05-12, NET Institute.
  2. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Pedro Pereira & José C. Pernías-Cerrillo, 2004. "Risk Attitudes and Internet Search Engines: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 04-03, NET Institute, revised Oct 2004.

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