IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v146y2018icp43-54.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Location still matters: Evidence from an online shopping field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Morgan, John
  • Ong, David
  • Zhong, Zemin (Zachary)

Abstract

Many empirical studies of online price dispersion show that sellers post different prices for homogeneous goods. However, seller heterogeneity is difficult to control for and posted prices may not reflect price dispersion in actual transactions. We contribute to this literature by selling identical simple goods (cell phone credits) at different prices from sellers that were identical except in name and with minimal ratings. The only way consumers could find us in this extremely thick market is to rank by price from lowest to highest. Out of 514 sales, 73 were of the higher priced item, for which we had non-negligible demand even when the price gap was 2%. Thus, even this selected sample of price-sensitive consumers do not necessarily buy the lowest priced item, all else being equal. Using independent variation in screen location and price, we are able to distinguish for the first time between search cost and limited attention based price dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Morgan, John & Ong, David & Zhong, Zemin (Zachary), 2018. "Location still matters: Evidence from an online shopping field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 43-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:43-54
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.11.021
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268117303256
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
    2. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-539, December.
    3. Anindya Ghose & Yuliang Yao, 2011. "Using Transaction Prices to Re-Examine Price Dispersion in Electronic Markets," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 269-288, June.
    4. Michael S. Rashes, 2001. "Massively Confused Investors Making Conspicuously Ignorant Choices (MCI-MCIC)," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1911-1927, October.
    5. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 229-257, February.
    6. Kathy Baylis & Jeffrey Perloff, 2002. "Price Dispersion on the Internet: Good Firms and Bad Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 21(3), pages 305-324, November.
    7. Nicola Lacetera & Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2012. "Heuristic Thinking and Limited Attention in the Car Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2206-2236, August.
    8. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
    9. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, June.
    12. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Eric K. Clemons & Il-Horn Hann & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Differentiation in Online Travel: An Empirical Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(4), pages 534-549, April.
    14. 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.
    15. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, March.
    16. Jennifer Brown & Tanjim Hossain & John Morgan, 2010. "Shrouded Attributes and Information Suppression: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 859-876.
    17. Xiaolin Xing, 2007. "Does price converge on the internet? Evidence from the online DVD market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 11-14.
    18. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price dispersion; Field experiment; Internet; Electronic market;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:43-54. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.