IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ier/iecrev/v43y2002i4p1157-1190.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Stability of Price Dispersion under Seller and Consumer Learning

Author

Listed:
  • Ed Hopkins

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Robert M. Seymour

    (University College, London)

Abstract

In many markets, it is possible to find rival sellers charging different prices for the same good. Earlier research has attempted to explain this phenomenon by demonstrating the existence of dispersed price equilibria when consumers must make use of costly search to discover prices. We ask whether such equilibria can be learned when sellers adjust prices adaptively in response to current market conditions. With consumer behavior fixed, convergence to a dispersed price equilibrium is possible in some cases. However, once consumer learning is introduced, the monopoly outcome first found by Diamond ("Journal of Economic Theory"3 (1971), 156-68) is the only stable equilibrium. Copyright 2002 by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association

Suggested Citation

  • Ed Hopkins & Robert M. Seymour, 2002. "The Stability of Price Dispersion under Seller and Consumer Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1157-1190, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:43:y:2002:i:4:p:1157-1190
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://openurl.ingenta.com/content?genre=article&issn=0020-6598&volume=43&spage=1157
    Download Restriction: Free access to full text is restricted to Ingenta subscribers.

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rothschild, Michael, 1973. "Models of Market Organization with Imperfect Information: A Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1283-1308, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-881, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    5. JÃrg Oechssler & Frank Riedel, 2001. "Evolutionary dynamics on infinite strategy spaces," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 17(1), pages 141-162.
    6. Hopkins, Ed, 1999. "Learning, Matching, and Aggregation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 79-110, January.
    7. Hopkins, Ed, 1999. "A Note on Best Response Dynamics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 138-150, October.
    8. Benabou Roland, 1993. "Search Market Equilibrium, Bilateral Heterogeneity, and Repeat Purchases," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 140-158, June.
    9. Wilde, Louis L, 1992. "Comparison Shopping as a Simultaneous Move Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(412), pages 562-569, May.
    10. Borgers, Tilman & Sarin, Rajiv, 1997. "Learning Through Reinforcement and Replicator Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 1-14, November.
    11. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Ed Hopkins, 2006. "A Simple Test of Learning Theory," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000724, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:dyncon:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Benaïm, Michel & Hofbauer, Josef & Hopkins, Ed, 2009. "Learning in games with unstable equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1694-1709, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Wagener, Florian, 2005. "The dynamics of price dispersion, or Edgeworth variations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 801-822, April.
    6. Rauh, Michael T., 2009. "Strategic complementarities and search market equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 959-978, July.
    7. Martin Hahn, 2012. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Varian’s Model of Sales," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 71-96, March.
    8. García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzís, Nikolaos & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa & Pereira, Pedro & Pernías-Cerrillo, J. Carlos, 2014. "On the evolution of monopoly pricing in Internet-assisted search markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 795-801.
    9. Morgan, John & Orzen, Henrik & Sefton, Martin, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 134-158, January.
    10. Timothy N. Cason & Shakun D. Mago, 2010. "COSTLY BUYER SEARCH IN LABORATORY MARKETS WITH SELLER ADVERTISING -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 424-449, June.
    11. Sandholm, William H., 2015. "Population Games and Deterministic Evolutionary Dynamics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
    12. Hoffmann, Eric, 2016. "On the learning and stability of mixed strategy Nash equilibria in games of strategic substitutes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 349-362.
    13. Timothy N. Cason & Shakun Datta, 2008. "Costly Buyer Search in Laboratory Markets with Seller Advertising," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1212, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    14. Ed Hopkins, 2002. "Adaptive Learning Models of Consumer Behaviour (first version)," ESE Discussion Papers 80, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    15. Hopkins, Ed, 2007. "Adaptive learning models of consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 348-368.
    16. Roger Waldeck & Eric Darmon, 2006. "Can boundedly rational sellers learn to play Nash?," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 1(2), pages 147-169, November.
    17. Lahkar, Ratul & Riedel, Frank, 2016. "The Continuous Logit Dynamic and Price Dispersion," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 521, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    18. Kováč, Eugen & Schmidt, Robert C., 2014. "Market share dynamics in a duopoly model with word-of-mouth communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 178-206.
    19. Klaus Adam, 2001. "Competitive Prices in Markets with Search and Information Frictions," CSEF Working Papers 55, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    20. Edoardo Gaffeo & Mauro Gallegati & Umberto Gostoli, 2012. "An agent-based "proof of principle" for Walrasian macroeconomic theory," CEEL Working Papers 1202, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    21. Ratul, Lahkar, 2011. "The dynamic instability of dispersed price equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1796-1827, September.
    22. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:339-360 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Robert Jump, 2016. "Evolutionary learning and the stability of wage posting equilibria," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 1117-1135, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    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:ier:iecrev:v:43:y:2002:i:4:p:1157-1190. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deupaus.html .

    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.