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An Empirical Analysis of Search Costs and Price Dispersion

Author

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  • Avi Weiss

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Joshua Sherman

Abstract

We exploit cross-sectional and temporal differences in search intensity in order to examine the relationship between search costs and price dispersion using a hand-collected panel data set from Jerusalem’s Shuk Mahane Yehuda outdoor market. We present empirical evidence that price dispersion increases with the cost of search using several different measures of price dispersion, however, our interpretation of this finding is sensitive to the search proxy in question. We also address several acute difficulties facing empiricists seeking to test theoretical price-dispersion models in which consumers are heterogeneous in their search behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Avi Weiss & Joshua Sherman, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Costs and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2014-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2014-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Sherman & Avi Weiss, 2015. "Price Response, Asymmetric Information and Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 2077-2115, December.

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    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
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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