IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecj/econjl/v121y2011i556pf368-f395.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Paying for Prominence

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Armstrong
  • Jidong Zhou

Abstract

We investigate three ways in which firms can become "prominent" and thereby influence the order in which consumers consider options. First, firms can affect an intermediary's sales efforts by means of commission payments. When firms pay commission to a salesman, the salesman promotes the product with the highest commission, and steers ignorant consumers towards the more expensive product. Second, sellers can advertise prices on a price comparison website, so that consumers investigate the suitability of products in order of increasing price. In such a market, equilibrium prices are lower when search costs are higher since a firm's benefit from being investigated first increases with search costs. Finally, consumers might first consider their existing supplier when they purchase a new product, which suggests a relatively benign rationale for the prevalence of cross-selling in markets such as retail banking.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Armstrong & Jidong Zhou, 2011. "Paying for Prominence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 368-395, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:556:p:f368-f395
    DOI: j.1468-0297.2011.02469.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02469.x
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2009. "Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 935-975, December.
    2. Jay Pil Choi & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2010. "Net neutrality and investment incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 446-471.
    3. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2007. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    4. Bagwell, Kyle & Ramey, Garey, 1994. "Coordination Economies, Advertising, and Search Behavior in Retail Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 498-517, June.
    5. Marco A. Haan & José L. Moraga‐González, 2011. "Advertising for Attention in a Consumer Search Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 552-579, May.
    6. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    7. Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
    8. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2007. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second-Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 242-259, March.
    9. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    10. Zhou, Jidong, 2011. "Ordered search in differentiated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 253-262, March.
    11. Ryan C. McDevitt, 2014. ""A" Business by Any Other Name: Firm Name Choice as a Signal of Firm Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 909-944.
    12. Yongmin Chen & Chuan He, 2011. "Paid Placement: Advertising and Search on the Internet," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 309-328, November.
    13. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Prominence and consumer search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
    14. Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511.
    15. Chris M. Wilson, 2008. "Ordered Search and Equilibrium Obfuscation," Economics Series Working Papers 401, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    16. Wilson, Chris M., 2010. "Ordered search and equilibrium obfuscation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 496-506, September.
    17. Varian, Hal R., 2007. "Position auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1163-1178, December.
    18. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
    19. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, March.
    20. Maria Arbatskaya, 2007. "Ordered search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 119-126, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:556:p:f368-f395. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.