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E-consumers' search and emerging structure of B-to-C coalitions

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  • Jacques Laye

    ()
    (INRA)

  • Charis Lina

    (YKEMS)

  • Herve Tanguy

    (INRA)

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    Abstract

    We have developed an agent-based computational model, extension of an analytical model1 that studies the structure of coalitions of B-to-C web sites, when Internet buyers incur search costs for finding the good that matches their preferences, and coalitions of sites reduce this cost through specialized search engines. This multi-agent model consists of heterogeneous, bounded rational agents: sites and web users, which have states and rules of behavior. Our goal is to run simulations by instantiating two agent populations (a population of sites/sellers and a population of web users/consumers), let the agents interact through the consumer search process and the coalition formation process, and monitor the evolution of the simulations in order to study the emerging dynamics, in particular the emerging coalition structure. The agent-based model extends the analytical results for less restricting assumptions. Moreover, beyond the coalition formation process, the analytical model is enriched by additional behaviors for the sites (entry and death), which give insights on the dynamics of competition when building coalition matters for increasing demand at the expense of non-coalesced or less coalesced sites

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    File URL: http://repec.org/sce2006/up.23496.1141137386.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 with number 374.

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    Date of creation: 04 Jul 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:374

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    Keywords: B-to-C; coalition formation; multi-agent;

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    1. Robert Axtell, 1999. "The Emergence of Firms in a Population of Agents," Working Papers 99-03-019, Santa Fe Institute.
    2. Novshek, William, 1980. "Equilibrium in simple spatial (or differentiated product) models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 313-326, April.
    3. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
    4. Jacques Laye & Hervé Tanguy, 2004. "Are neighbors welcome ? e-buyer search, price competition and coalition strategy in the Internet retailing," Working Papers hal-00242928, HAL.
    5. Eaton, B Curtis & Lipsey, Richard G, 1982. "An Economic Theory of Central Places," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 56-72, March.
    6. Robert L. Axtell, 2000. "Effect of Interaction Topology and Activation Regime in Several Multi-Agent Systems," Working Papers 00-07-039, Santa Fe Institute.
    7. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Garella, Paolo, 1986. "Subjective price search and price competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 305-316, September.
    8. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Symmetric equilibrium existence and optimality in differentiated product markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 178-194, February.
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