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Relative Price Dispersion: Evidence and Theory

Author

Listed:
  • Greg Kaplan
  • Guido Menzio
  • Leena Rudanko
  • Nicholas Trachter

Abstract

Relative price dispersion refers to persistent differences in the price that different retailers set for one particular good relative to the price they set for other goods. Relative price dispersion accounts for 30 percent of the overall variance of prices at which the same good is sold during the same week and in the same market. Relative price dispersion can be rationalized as the consequence of a pricing strategy used by sellers to discriminate between high-valuation buyers who need to make all of their purchases in one store, and low-valuation buyers who are able to purchase different items in different stores.

Suggested Citation

  • Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio & Leena Rudanko & Nicholas Trachter, 2019. "Relative Price Dispersion: Evidence and Theory," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 68-124, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:11:y:2019:i:3:p:68-124
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.20170126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Menzio & Nicholas Trachter, 2018. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion Across and Within Stores," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 205-220, April.
    2. René Böheim & Franz Hackl & Michael Hölzl-Leitner, 2019. "The Impact of Price Adjustment Costs on Price Dispersion in E-Commerce," CESifo Working Paper Series 7510, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Burdett, Kenneth & Menzio, Guido, 2017. "The (Q,S,s) pricing rule: a quantitative analysis," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 784-797.
    4. Fabra, Natalia & Montero, Juan Pablo, 2017. "Product Choice and Price Discrimination in Markets with Search Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 12046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Baughman, Garth & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2019. "Self-confirming price dispersion in monetary economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 284-311.
    6. Burdett, Kenneth & Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 2017. "A new suggestion for simplifying the theory of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 423-450.
    7. Garcia, Daniel & Janssen, Maarten, 2018. "Retail channel management in consumer search markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 162-182.
    8. Garth Baughman & Stanislav Rabinovich, 2018. "Self-confirming Price Dispersion in Monetary Economies," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-046, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Pau Roldan & Sophia Gilbukh, 2017. "Firm Dynamics and Pricing under Customer Capital Accumulation," 2017 Meeting Papers 1235, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Diego Daruich & Julian Kozlowski, 2018. "Uniform Pricing Within and Across Regions: New Evidence from Argentina," Working Papers 2018-10, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 28 Feb 2019.
    11. Nicholas Trachter, 2016. "Price Dispersion When Stores Sell Multiple Goods," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, pages 127-146.
    12. Rhodes, Andrew & Watanabe, Makoto & Zhou, Jidong, 2017. "Multiproduct Intermediaries and Optimal Product Range," MPRA Paper 82136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. David Fielding & Christopher Hajzler & James (Jim) C. MacGee, 2017. "Price-Level Dispersion versus Inflation-Rate Dispersion: Evidence from Three Countries," Staff Working Papers 17-3, Bank of Canada.
    14. Pau Roldán & Sonia Gilbukh, 2018. "Firm dynamics and pricing under customer capital accumulation," Working Papers 1838, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    15. Rhodes, Andrew & Zhou, Jidong, 2016. "Consumer Search and Retail Market Structure," MPRA Paper 69484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Andres Drenik, 2017. "Pricing in Multiple Currencies in Domestic Markets," 2017 Meeting Papers 1418, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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