A Note on Costly Sequential Search and Oligopoly Pricing (new title: Truly Costly Sequential Search and Oligopolistic Pricing,)
We modify the paper of Stahl (1989) on sequential consumer search in an oligopoly context by relaxing the assumption that consumers obtain the first price quotation for free. When all price quotations are costly to obtain, a new equilibrium arises where consumers randomize between not searching at all and searching for one price. The region of parameters for which this equilibrium exists becomes larger as the number of shoppers decreases and/or the number of firms increases. The comparative statics properties of this new equilibrium are interesting. In particular, the expected price increases as search cost decreases, and is constant in the number of shoppers and in the number of firms. We show that the Diamond result never obtains with truly costly search.
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- Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
- Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999.
"Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
- Anderson, S.P. & Renault, R., 1997. "Pricing, Product Diversity and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," Papers 97.481, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
- Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, product diversity, and search costs: a Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond model," Virginia Economics Online Papers 335, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
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- Rafael Rob, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504.
- Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)