IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v84y2002i3p433-444.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Existence And Persistence Of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Saul Lach

Abstract

Using a unique data set on store-level monthly prices of four homogenous products sold in Israel, I study the existence and characteristics of the dispersion of prices across stores, as well as its persistence over time. I find that price dispersion prevails even after controlling for observed and unobserved product heterogeneity. Moreover, intradistribution mobility is significant: stores move up and down the crosssectional price distribution. Thus, consumers cannot learn about stores that consistently post low prices. As a consequence, price dispersion does not disappear and persists over time as predicted by Varian's (1980) model of sales. © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Saul Lach, 2002. "Existence And Persistence Of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 433-444, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:3:p:433-444
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/003465302320259457
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to 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, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    3. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-1196, December.
    4. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
    5. John W. Pratt & David A. Wise & Richard Zeckhauser, 1979. "Price Differences in almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211.
    6. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
    7. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    8. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1979. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 851-858, August.
    9. Rajiv Lal & Carmen Matutes, 1989. "Price Competition in Multimarket Duopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 516-537, Winter.
    10. McAfee R. Preston, 1995. "Multiproduct Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 83-105, October.
    11. J. Rupert Gatti, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Sequential Search," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1368, Econometric Society.
    12. Rafael Rob, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504.
    13. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    14. Geweke, John & Marshall, Robert C & Zarkin, Gary A, 1986. "Mobility Indices in Continuous Time Markov Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1407-1423, November.
    15. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    16. John McMillan & Peter B. Morgan, 1988. "Price Dispersion, Price Flexibility, and Repeated Purchasing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(4), pages 883-902, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dhar, Tirtha & Stiegert, Kyle W. & Gould, Brian W., 2002. "Price Dispersion, Search, and Market Power," Working Papers 201549, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food System Research Group.
    2. Joaquín Alegre & Maria Sard, 2006. "Tour operators' price strategie in the Balearic Islands," DEA Working Papers 19, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
    3. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio & Leena Rudanko & Nicholas Trachter, 2019. "Relative Price Dispersion: Evidence and Theory," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 68-124, August.
    4. Alfredo Martín-Oliver & Vicente Salas-Fumás & Jesús Saurina, 2005. "Interest rate dispersion in deposit and loan markets," Working Papers 0506, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    5. ANDERSON, Simon & de PALMA, André, 2003. "Price dispersion," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2003032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Menzio, Guido & Trachter, Nicholas, 2015. "Equilibrium price dispersion with sequential search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 188-215.
    7. Rauh, Michael T., 2009. "Strategic complementarities and search market equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 959-978, July.
    8. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.
    9. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2004. "Consumer Search and Oligopolistic Pricing: An Empirical Investigation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-071/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Chudik, Alexander, 2012. "A simple model of price dispersion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 344-347.
    11. Braido, Luis H.B., 2009. "Multiproduct price competition with heterogeneous consumers and nonconvex costs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 526-534, September.
    12. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
    13. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
    14. Burdett, Ken & Smith, Eric, 2010. "Price distributions and competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 180-183, March.
    15. Burdett, Kenneth, 1989. "Search Market Models: A Survey," Working Paper Series 234, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    16. Ralph-C Bayer & Changxia Ke, 2010. "Rockets and Feathers in the Laboratory," School of Economics Working Papers 2010-20, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    17. Bruce I. Carlin & Florian Ederer, 2019. "Search Fatigue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 54(3), pages 485-508, May.
    18. Cristina Mazón & Pedro Pereira, 2001. "Electronic commerce, consumer search and reailing cost reduction," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0102, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    19. Kyle Bagwell & Garey Ramey, 1992. "The Diamond Paradox: A Dynamic Resolution," Discussion Papers 1013, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    20. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault & Claude Jessua, 1996. "Produits différenciés et information imparfaite des consommateurs," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 425-435.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    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:tpr:restat:v:84:y:2002:i:3:p:433-444. 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: (Ann Olson). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    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.