Consumer Search Costs and Preferences on the Internet
We analyse consumers’ search and purchase decisions on an Internet platform. Using a rich dataset on all adverts posted and transactions made on a major French Internet platform (PriceMinister), we show evidence of substantial price dispersion among adverts for the same product. We also show that consumers do not necessarily choose the cheapest advert available and sometimes even choose an advert that is dominated in price and non-price characteristics (such as seller’s reputation) by another available advert. To explain the transactions observed on the platform, we derive and estimate a structural model of sequential directed search where consumers observe all advert prices but have to pay a search cost to see the other advert characteristics. We allow for flexible heterogeneity in consumers’ preferences and search costs. After deriving tractable identification conditions for our model, we estimate sets of parameters that can rationalize each transaction. Our model can predict a wide range of consumer search strategies and fits almost all transactions observed in our sample. We find empirical evidence of heterogenous, sometimes positive and substantially large search costs and marginal willingness to pay for advert hedonic characteristics.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TU|
Phone: 0117 928 8415
Fax: 0117 928 8577
Web page: http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck, 2015.
"Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets,"
Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(1), pages 169-200, May.
- Sam COSAERT & Thomas DEMUYNCK, 2013. "Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets," Working Papers Department of Economics ces13.08, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
- Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck, 2015. "Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/251997, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, and Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456.
- Laurens Cherchye & Ian Crawford & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "The revealed preference approach to demand," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/132522, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, June.
- Babur De Los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "Testing Models of Consumer Search Using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2955-2980, October.
- Babur De los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2009. "Testing Models of Consumer Search using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," Working Papers 2009-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:14/647. 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: (Jonathan Temple)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.