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Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search

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  • Stahl, Dale O, II

Abstract

N identical stores compete by choosing prices for a homogeneous good with constant marginal costs. Consumers search sequentially with perfect recall for the lowest price. One class of consumers, called shoppers, have zero search costs, while all other consumers have a positive search cost, c. There is a unique symmetric Nash equilibrium price distribution with the property that it changes smoothly from "marginal cost pricing" when all consumers are shoppers and/or c = 0 and "monopoly pricing" when no consumers are shoppers. Remarkably, as the number of stores increases, the Nash equilibrium becomes more monopolistic. Copyright 1989 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:79:y:1989:i:4:p:700-712
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