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Market frictions: A unified model of search costs and switching costs

  • Wilson, Chris M.
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    It is well known that search costs and switching costs can create market power by constraining the ability of consumers to change suppliers. While previous research has examined each cost in isolation, this paper demonstrates the benefits of examining the two types of friction in unison. The paper shows how subtle distinctions between the two costs can provide important differences in their effects upon consumer behaviour, competition and welfare. In addition, the paper also illustrates a simple empirical methodology for estimating separate measures of both costs, while demonstrating a potential bias that can arise if only one cost is considered.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1070-1086

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:6:p:1070-1086
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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