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Price Comparison website

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  • Ronayne, David

Abstract

The large and growing industry of price comparison websites (PCWs) or ‘web aggregators’ is poised to benefit consumers by increasing competitive pricing pressure on firms by acquainting shoppers with more prices. However, these sites also charge firms for sales, which feeds back to raise prices. I investigate the impact of introducing PCWs to a market for a homogeneous good. I find that introducing a single PCW increases prices for all consumers, both those who use the sites, and those who do not. Under competing PCWs, prices tend to rise with the number of PCWs. I also conduct various extensions and use the analysis to discuss relevant industry practices and policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronayne, David, 2018. "Price Comparison website," Economic Research Papers 270227, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270227
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.270227
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    Cited by:

    1. Motta, Massimo & Penta, Antonio, 2022. "Market Effects of Sponsored Search Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 17401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Heiko Karle & Martin Peitz & Markus Reisinger, 2020. "Segmentation versus Agglomeration: Competition between Platforms with Competitive Sellers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2329-2374.
    3. David P. Myatt, 2019. "A Theory of Stable Price Dispersion," Economics Series Working Papers 873, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Parakhonyak, Alexei & Titova, Maria, 2018. "Shopping malls, platforms and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 183-213.
    5. David Ronayne, 2020. "The Only Dance in Town: Unique Equilibrium in a Generalized Model of Price Competition," Economics Series Working Papers 874, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Amedeo Piolatto & Florian Schuett, 2022. "Information vs Competition: How Platform Design Affects Profits and Surplus," Working Papers 1325, Barcelona School of Economics.
    7. Johannes Johnen & David Ronayne, 2021. "The only Dance in Town: Unique Equilibrium in a Generalized Model of Price Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 595-614, September.
    8. Motta, Massimo & Penta, Antonio, 2022. "Market Effects of Sponsored Search Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 17401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Ghosh, Meenakshi, 2021. "Consumer naivete and competitive add-on pricing on platforms," MPRA Paper 109981, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Greg Taylor, 2020. "Competing Sales Channels," Economics Series Working Papers 843, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    11. Sandro Shelegia & Chris M. Wilson, 2021. "A Generalized Model of Advertised Sales," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 195-223, February.
    12. Bernhardt, Dan & Constantinou, Evangelos & Shadmehr, Mehdi, 2019. "When do co-located firms selling identical products thrive?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1202, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    13. Johannes Johnen & Robert Somogyi, 2019. "Deceptive Products on Platforms," Working Papers 19-13, NET Institute.
    14. Klaus Kultti & Tuomas Takalo & Oskari Vähämaa, 2021. "Intermediation in a directed search model," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 456-471, May.
    15. Klaus Kultti & Tuomas Takalo & Oskari Vähämaa, 2021. "Intermediation in a directed search model," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 456-471, May.

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