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The role of consumers in competition and competition policy


  • Waterson, Michael


This paper develops the idea that consumers’ behavior matters significantly from the viewpoint of industry performance. This is examined through some theoretical propositions, but then at greater length by means of some case study examples. These examples demonstrate how, even in potentially competitive industries, reluctance on the part of consumers to search or to switch suppliers can lead to a sub-competitive outcome. The significance of non-traditional competition policy remedies in changing the outcome is drawn out.
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  • Waterson, Michael, 2003. "The role of consumers in competition and competition policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 129-150, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:21:y:2003:i:2:p:129-150

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    2. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    3. Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-443, December.
    4. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2006. "Advertising Content," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 93-113, March.
    5. Waterson, Michael, 2003. "Consumers and Competition," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 679, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    7. John G. Lynch , Jr. & Dan Ariely, 2000. "Wine Online: Search Costs Affect Competition on Price, Quality, and Distribution," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(1), pages 83-103, April.
    8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    9. Moshkin, N. & Shachar, R., 2000. "Switching Costs or Search Costs?," Papers 3-2000, Tel Aviv.
    10. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
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