IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Price Competition with Consumer Confusion

Listed author(s):
  • Ioana Chioveanu

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Finance, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, United Kingdom)

  • Jidong Zhou

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

This paper proposes a model in which identical sellers of a homogeneous product compete in both prices and price frames (i.e., ways to present price information). Frame choices affect the comparability of price offers and may cause consumer confusion and lower price sensitivity. In equilibrium, firms randomize their frame choices to obfuscate price comparisons and sustain positive profits. The nature of the equilibrium depends on whether frame differentiation or frame complexity is more confusing. Moreover, an increase in the number of competitors induces firms to rely more on frame complexity, and this may boost industry profits and lower consumer surplus. This paper was accepted by J. Miguel Villas-Boas, marketing.

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.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2013.1716
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 59 (2013)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 2450-2469

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:59:y:2013:i:11:p:2450-2469
Contact details of provider: Postal:
7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
Email:


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.:

as
in new window


  1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, July.
  2. Hossain Tanjim & Morgan John, 2006. "...Plus Shipping and Handling: Revenue (Non) Equivalence in Field Experiments on eBay," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, January.
  3. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
  4. Baye, Michael R. & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G., 1992. "It takes two to tango: Equilibria in a model of sales," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 493-510, October.
  5. Alexia Gaudeul & Robert Sugden, 2012. "Spurious Complexity and Common Standards in Markets for Consumer Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(314), pages 209-225, 04.
  6. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
  7. KalaycI, Kenan & Potters, Jan, 2011. "Buyer confusion and market prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 14-22, January.
  8. Kenan Kalaycı & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2016. "Complexity and biases," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 31-50, March.
  9. Wilson, Chris M., 2010. "Ordered search and equilibrium obfuscation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 496-506, September.
  10. Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
  11. 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.
  12. David Laibson & Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Competition and Consumer Confusion," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 663, Econometric Society.
  13. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "A search cost model of obfuscation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, 09.
  14. Susan E. Woodward & Robert E. Hall, 2010. "Consumer Confusion in the Mortgage Market: Evidence of Less Than a Perfectly Transparent and Competitive Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 511-515, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:59:y:2013:i:11:p:2450-2469. 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.