Spurious Complexity and Common Standards in Markets for Consumer Goods
Behavioural and industrial economists have argued that, because of cognitive limitations, consumers are liable to make sub-optimal choices in complex decision problems. Firms can exploit these limitations by introducing spurious complexity into tariff structures, weakening price competition. This paper models a countervailing force. Consumers’ choice problems are simplified if competing firms follow common conventions about tariff structures. Because such a ‘common standard’ promotes price competition, a firm’s use of it signals that its products offer value for money. If consumers recognize this effect, there can be a stable equilibrium in which firms use common standards and set competitive prices.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Norwich, NR4 7TJ|
Phone: +44(0)1603 593715
Fax: +44(0)1603 591622
Web page: http://www.ccp.uea.ac.uk
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
- Ran Spiegler, 2005.
"Competition over Agents with Boundedly Rational Expectations,"
122247000000000535, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Competition over agents with boundedly rational expectations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 207-231, June.
- Glenn Ellison, 2005. "A Model of Add-On Pricing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 585-637.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Glenn Ellison, 2003.
"A Model of Add-on Pricing,"
NBER Working Papers
9721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chris Wilson & Catherine Waddams Price, 2007.
"Do Consumers Switch to the Best Supplier?,"
07-6, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006.
"Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540.
- Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp07-20. 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: (Cheryl Whittkaer)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.