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Price Response, Asymmetric Information, and Competition

  • Joshua Sherman
  • Avi Weiss


    (Bar-Ilan University)

We compare predictions from a theoretical model based on the structure of the main outdoor retail market in Jerusalem with the results of an empirical analysis of price response to changes in cost. We find that firms without adjacent competition exhibit both upward and downward price rigidity, an outcome we ascribe to asymmetric information between the consumer and the firm. Given that previous studies have focused on downward price rigidities of firms with market power, our findings highlight the importance of accounting for transitory information asymmetries between the consumer and the firm when studying price rigidity.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-13.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan
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  1. Avi Weiss & Joshua Sherman, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Costs and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2014-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  2. George Deltas, 2008. "RETAIL GASOLINE PRICE DYNAMICS AND LOCAL MARKET POWER -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 613-628, 09.
  3. Kirman, Alan & Schulz, Rainer & Hardle, Wolfgang & Werwatz, Axel, 2005. "Transactions that did not happen and their influence on prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 567-591, April.
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  5. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
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  7. Jochen Meyer & Stephan Cramon-Taubadel, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Transmission: A Survey," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 581-611.
  8. Fishman, A., 1995. "Search with Learning and Price Adjustment Dynamics," Papers 18-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  9. Sonia Moulet & Juliette Rouchier, 2009. "The influence of seller learning and time constraints on sequential bargaining in an artificial perishable goods market," Working Papers halshs-00353505, HAL.
  10. Lewis, Matt, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Consumer Search: An Examination of the Retail Gasoline Market," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9pv2d9fn, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. Felipe Balmaceda & Paula Soruco, 2008. "ASYMMETRIC DYNAMIC PRICING IN A LOCAL GASOLINE RETAIL MARKET -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 629-653, 09.
  12. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "Edgeworth Price Cycles, Cost-Based Pricing, and Sticky Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 324-334, May.
  13. Shy, Oz, 2002. "A quick-and-easy method for estimating switching costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-87, January.
  14. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
  15. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Micro-Level Data," Working Papers 2002-09, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  16. Duffy-Deno, Kevin T., 1996. "Retail price asymmetries in local gasoline markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 81-92, April.
  17. John Haltiwanger & Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1991. "The Impact of Cyclical Demand Movements on Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 89-106, Spring.
  18. Giliola Frey & Matteo Manera, 2007. "Econometric Models Of Asymmetric Price Transmission," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 349-415, 04.
  19. Oz Shy, 1996. "Industrial Organization: Theory and Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691795, June.
  20. Ronald W. Ward, 1982. "Asymmetry in Retail, Wholesale, and Shipping Point Pricing for Fresh Vegetables," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 64(2), pages 205-212.
  21. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2002. "Price Flexibility in Channels of Distribution: Evidence from Scanner Data," Working Papers 2002-10, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  22. Alan Kirman & Sonia Moulet & Rainer Schulz, 2008. "Price Discrimination and Customer Behaviour: Empirical Evidence from Marseille," Working Papers halshs-00349036, HAL.
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