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Competing for Consumer Inattention

Author

Listed:
  • Geoffroy de Clippel
  • Kfir Eliaz
  • Kareen Rozen

Abstract

Consumers purchase multiple types of goods but may be able to examine only a limited number of markets for the best price. We propose a simple model that captures these features, conveying new insights. A firm's price can deflect or draw attention to its market, and consequently, limited attention introduces a new dimension of cross-market competition. We characterize the equilibrium and show that having partially attentive consumers improves consumer welfare. With less attention, consumers are more likely to miss the best offers; but enhanced cross-market competition decreases average price paid, as leading firms try to stay under the consumers' radar.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffroy de Clippel & Kfir Eliaz & Kareen Rozen, 2014. "Competing for Consumer Inattention," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1203-1234.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/677253
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Armstrong & Yongmin Chen, 2009. "Inattentive Consumers and Product Quality," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 411-422, 04-05.
    2. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    3. Spiegler, Ran, 2014. "Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199334261.
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    5. John K.‐H. Quah & Bruno Strulovici, 2012. "Aggregating the Single Crossing Property," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2333-2348, September.
    6. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2016. "Competition for Attention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 481-513.
    7. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2018. "Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia and information suppression in competitive markets," Chapters,in: Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 3, pages 40-74 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    9. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1980. "A Model in Which an Increase in the Number of Sellers Leads to a Higher Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1575-1579, September.
    10. Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
    11. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    12. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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