Referrals in search markets
This paper compares the equilibrium outcomes in search markets with and without referrals. Although it seems clear that consumers would benefit from referrals, it is not at all clear whether firms would unilaterally provide information about competing offers since such information could encourage consumers to purchase the product elsewhere. In a model of a horizontally differentiated product market with sequential consumer search, we show that valuable referrals can arise in the equilibrium: a firm will give referrals to consumers whose ideal product is sufficiently far away from the firm's offering. We allow firms to price-discriminate among consumers, and consumers to misrepresent their tastes. We found that the equilibrium profits tend to be higher in markets with referrals than in markets without. Consumers tend to be better off in the presence of referrals when search costs are not too low, and under a certain parameter range, referrals lead to a Pareto improvement.
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.
Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551|
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.:
- Birger Wernerfelt, 1994. "Selling Formats for Search Goods," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 298-309.
- Asher Wolinsky, 1984. "Product Differentiation with Imperfect Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 53-61.
- 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.
- Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1997.
"Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information,"
Virginia Economics Online Papers
338, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Anderson, Simon P & Renault, Regis, 2000. "Consumer Information and Firm Pricing: Negative Externalities from Improved Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 721-42, August.
- Konishi, Hideo, 2005.
"Concentration of competing retail stores,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 488-512, November.
- Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
- Asher Wolinsky, 1983. "Retail Trade Concentration Due to Consumers' Imperfect Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 275-282, Spring.
- Colwell, Peter F & Kahn, Charles M, 2001. "The Economic Functions of Referrals and Referral Fees," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 267-96, November.
- Mark V. Pauly, 1979. "The Ethics and Economics of Kickbacks and Fee Splitting," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 344-352, Spring.
- Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-45, May.
- Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2005. "Truly costly sequential search and oligopolistic pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 451-466, June.
- Stephen J. Spurr, 1990. "The Impact of Advertising and Other Factors on Referral Practices, with Special Reference to Lawyers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 235-246, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:1:p:89-101. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.