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Strategic complementarities and search market equilibrium

  • Rauh, Michael T.

In this paper, we apply supermodular game theory to the equilibrium search literature with sequential search. We identify necessary and sufficient conditions for the pricing game to exhibit strategic complementarities and prove existence of equilibrium. We then show that price dispersion is inherently incompatible with strategic complementarities in the sense that the Diamond Paradox obtains when firms are identical and is robust within the class of search cost densities that are small near zero and support strategic complementarities. We also show that a major criticism of the literature, that agents act as if they know the distribution of prices, can be justified in the sense of convergent best response dynamics.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 959-978

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:959-978
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  17. Babur de los Santos, 2008. "Consumer Search on the Internet," Working Papers 2008-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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  30. Michael Rothschild, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown: A Summary," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 1, pages 293-294 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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