Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product Variety at Online Booksellers
We present a framework and empirical estimates that quantify the economic impact of increased product variety made available through electronic markets. While efficiency gains from increased competition significantly enhance consumer surplus, for instance, by leading to lower average selling prices, our present research shows that increased product variety made available through electronic markets can be a significantly larger source of consumer surplus gains. One reason for increased product variety on the Internet is the ability of online retailers to catalog, recommend, and provide a large number of products for sale. For example, the number of book titles available at Amazon.com is more than 23 times larger than the number of books on the shelves of a typical Barnes & Noble superstore, and 57 times greater than the number of books stocked in a typical large independent bookstore. Our analysis indicates that the increased product variety of online bookstores enhanced consumer welfare by $731 million to $1.03 billion in the year 2000, which is between 7 and 10 times as large as the consumer welfare gain from increased competition and lower prices in this market. There may also be large welfare gains in other SKU-intensive consumer goods such as music, movies, consumer electronics, and computer software and hardware.
Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Judith Chevalier & Austan Goolsbee, 2003. "Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 203-222, June.
- Amil Petrin, 2001. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," NBER Working Papers 8227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hausman, Jerry A & Leonard, Gregory K, 2002. "The Competitive Effects of a New Product Introduction: A Case Study," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 237-263, September.
- Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2001. "The Acceleration of Variety Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 274-280, May.
- Austan Goolsbee & Judith Chevalier, 2002.
"Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm290, Yale School of Management, revised 12 Sep 2008.
- Austan Goolsbee & Judith Chevalier, 2002. "Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble," NBER Working Papers 9085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aviv Nevo, 2001.
"New Products, Quality Changes and Welfare Measures Computed From Estimated Demand Systems,"
NBER Working Papers
8425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aviv Nevo, 2003. "New Products, Quality Changes, and Welfare Measures Computed from Estimated Demand Systems," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 266-275, May.
- Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hausman, Jerry A & Newey, Whitney K, 1995.
"Nonparametric Estimation of Exact Consumers Surplus and Deadweight Loss,"
Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1445-1476, November.
- Hausman, J.A. & Newey, W.K., 1992. "Nonparametric Estimation of Exact Consumers Surplus and Deadweight Loss," Working papers 93-2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Brown, Jeffrey, 2000.
"Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry,"
Working Paper Series
rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
- Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-519, December.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000.
"Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers,"
INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
- Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
- Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1986. "Measuring the Spillovers from Technical Advance: Mainframe Computers inFinancial Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 742-755, September.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1.
- Stephen J. Hoch & Eric T. Bradlow & Brian Wansink, 1999. "The Variety of an Assortment," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 527-546.
- Austan Goolsbee & Amil Petrin, 2001. "The Consumer Gains from Direct Broadcast Satellites and the Competition with Cable Television," NBER Working Papers 8317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. R. Hicks, 1942. "Consumers' Surplus and Index-Numbers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 126-137.
- Jerry A. Hausman, 1997. "Valuing the Effect of Regulation on New Services in Telecommunications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 1-54.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:11:p:1580-1596. 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: (Mirko Janc)
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.