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Tracking Customer Search to Price Discriminate

Author

Listed:
  • Cary A. Deck
  • Bart J. Wilson

Abstract

The electronic technologies of the Internet make it possible for sellers to track potential customers and discriminate between the informed and uninformed. In this article, we report an experiment that investigates the market impact of firms tracking customers and offering discriminatory prices based on search history. We find that consumers, on average, face the same prices when sellers have the ability to track customers and price discriminate as when sellers post a single price for all buyers. However, informed buyers receive lower prices when sellers can detect buyer search, whereas uninformed buyers receive lower prices when firms cannot track customers. (JEL D43, L13, C92) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Cary A. Deck & Bart J. Wilson, 2006. "Tracking Customer Search to Price Discriminate," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 280-295, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:280-295
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbj014
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Taylor Jaworskiy & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2012. "An Experimental Examination of Asset Pricing Under Market Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp12-21, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Oleksandr Talavera, 2017. "Price Setting in Online Markets: Basic Facts, International Comparisons, and Cross-Border Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 249-282, January.
    3. Huailu Li & Kevin Lang & Kaiwen Leong, "undated". "Does Competition Eliminate Discrimination? Evidence from the Commercial Sex Market in Singapore," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-275, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Maria Arbatskaya, 2007. "Ordered search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 119-126, March.
    5. Vernon L. Smith, 2003. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
    6. Deck, Cary & Gu, Jingping, 2012. "Price increasing competition? Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 730-740.
    7. Anil Caliskan & David Porter & Stephen Rassenti & Vernon L. Smith & Bart J. Wilson, 2007. "Exclusionary Bundling and the Effects of a Competitive Fringe," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 109-132, March.
    8. Shuya Yin & Saibal Ray & Haresh Gurnani & Animesh Animesh, 2010. "Durable Products with Multiple Used Goods Markets: Product Upgrade and Retail Pricing Implications," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 540-560, 05-06.
    9. Helland, Leif & Moen, Espen R. & Preugschat, Edgar, 2017. "Information and coordination frictions in experimental posted offer markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 53-74.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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