Expert-mediated sequential search
This paper studies markets, such as Internet marketplaces for used cars or mortgages, in which consumers engage in sequential search. In particular, we consider the impact of information-brokers (experts) who can, for a fee, provide better information on true values of opportunities. We characterize the optimal search strategy given a price and the terms of service set by the expert, and show how to use this characterization to solve the monopolist expert’s service pricing problem. Our analysis enables the investigation of three common pricing schemes (pay-per-use, unlimited subscription, and package pricing) that can be used by the expert. We demonstrate that in settings characteristic of electronic marketplaces, namely those with lower search costs for consumers and lower costs of production of expert services, unlimited subscription schemes are favored. Finally, we show that the platform that connects consumer and experts can improve social welfare by subsidizing the purchase of expert services. The optimal level of subsidy forces the buyer to exactly fully internalize the marginal cost of provision of expert services. In electronic markets, this cost is minimal, so it may be worthwhile for the platform to make the expert freely available to consumers.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1979.
"Optimal Search for the Best Alternative,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 641-54, May.
- Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999.
"New developments in models of search in the labor market,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627
- Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1981.
"Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Xianjun Geng & Maxwell B. Stinchcombe & Andrew B. Whinston, 2005. "Bundling Information Goods of Decreasing Value," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(4), pages 662-667, April.
- Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-68, September.
- Anonymous, 1994. "Research Updates," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 25(1), February.
- repec:tpr:qjecon:v:84:y:1970:i:1:p:113-26 is not listed on IDEAS
- P. Diamond, 1980.
"Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium,"
268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Wright, Randall, 1986. "Job Search and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 38-55, February.
- Kenneth Burdett & Randall Wright, 1994.
169, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Alp Atakan, 2005.
"Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs,"
2005 Meeting Papers
218, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999.
"Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 1999
1022, Society for Computational Economics.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
- Wilson, Kurt E. & Szechtman, Roberto & Atkinson, Michael P., 2011. "A sequential perspective on searching for static targets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 218-226, November.
- David Dranove & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2010.
"Quality Disclosure and Certification: Theory and Practice,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 935-63, December.
- David Dranove & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2010. "Quality Disclosure and Certification: Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 15644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kang, Byung-Kook, 2005. "Optimal stopping problem with double reservation value property," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 165(3), pages 765-785, September.
- repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- Galeotti, Andrea & Moraga-González, José Luis, 2009.
"Platform intermediation in a market for differentiated products,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 417-428, May.
- Andrea Galeotti & José Luis Moraga Gonzales, 2008. "Platform Intermediation in a Market for Differentiated Products," CESifo Working Paper Series 2266, CESifo Group Munich.
- James B. MacQueen, 1964. "Optimal Policies for a Class of Search and Evaluation Problems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 746-759, July.
- Christian Terwiesch & Christoph H. Loch, 2004. "Collaborative Prototyping and the Pricing of Custom-Designed Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 145-158, February.
- Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-43, Summer.
- Haynes, Michelle & Thompson, Steve, 2008. "Price, price dispersion and number of sellers at a low entry cost shopbot," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 459-472, March.
- Grosfeld-Nir, Abraham & Sarne, David & Spiegler, Israel, 2009. "Modeling the search for the least costly opportunity," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(2), pages 667-674, September.
- Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1997.
"Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits and Efficiency,"
Working Paper Series
199, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
- Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(12), pages 1613-1630, December.
- Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel, 2003.
"Buyer search and price dispersion: a laboratory study,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 232-260, October.
- Timothy N. Cason & Daniel Friedman, 2000. "Buyer Search and Price Dispersion: A Laboratory Study," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1549, Econometric Society.
- Benjamin Bental & Dan Peled, 2002. "Quantitative growth effects of subsidies in a search theoretic R&D model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 397-423.
- Edward A. Baryla, Jr. & Leonard V. Zumpano & Harold W. Elder, 2000. "An Investigation of Buyer Search in the Residential Real Estate Market under Different Market Conditions," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 20(1), pages 75-91.
- Arun Sundararajan, 2004. "Nonlinear Pricing of Information Goods," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(12), pages 1660-1673, December.
- BLOCH, Francis & RYDER, Harl, 1994.
"Two-Sided Search, Marriages and Matchmakers,"
CORE Discussion Papers
1994028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Robin S. Lee & Michael Schwarz, 2009. "Interviewing in Two-Sided Matching Markets," NBER Working Papers 14922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
- Hak Chun, Young, 1996. "Selecting the best choice in the weighted secretary problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 135-147, July.
- Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey: Part I," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(2), pages 155-89, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:234:y:2014:i:3:p:861-873. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.