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Search Fatigue

Author

Listed:
  • Bruce I. Carlin

    (UCLA Anderson School of Management)

  • Florian Ederer

    (Yale School of Management)

Abstract

Consumer search is not only costly but also tiring. We characterize the intertemporal effects that search fatigue has on monopoly and oligopoly prices, the product lines offered by firms, and the provision of consumer assistance (i.e., advice). These effects vary based on the type of search that occurs among stores and within them. In contrast to standard search models, accounting for fatigue leads to product proliferation and time-varying prices, cyclical price dispersion, and consumer assistance. We analyze the welfare implications of search fatigue and discuss the conditions under which product proliferation and cyclical price dispersion are most pronounced.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce I. Carlin & Florian Ederer, 2019. "Search Fatigue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 54(3), pages 485-508, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:54:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11151-018-9657-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s11151-018-9657-5
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer search; Fatigue; Product proliferation; Time-varying prices; Cyclical price dispersion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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