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Position Auctions with Consumer Search

  • Susan Athey
  • Glenn Ellison

This article examines a model in which advertisers bid for "sponsored-link" positions on a search engine. The value advertisers derive from each position is endogenized as coming from sales to a population of consumers who make rational inferences about firm qualities and search optimally. Consumer search strategies, equilibrium bidding, and the welfare benefits of position auctions are analyzed. Implications for reserve prices and a number of other auction design questions are discussed. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://kuznets.fas.harvard.edu/~athey/position.pdf
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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001633.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001633
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

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  1. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "A search cost model of obfuscation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, 09.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg & Markus Mobius, 2010. "Competing Auctions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000092, David K. Levine.
  3. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  4. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, 03.
  5. Demange, Gabrielle & Gale, David & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1986. "Multi-Item Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 863-72, August.
  6. Tilman Borgers & Ingemar Cox & Martin Pesendorfer & Vaclav Petricek, 2007. "Equilibrium bids in sponsored search auctions: theory and evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4910, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Yongmin Chen & Chuan He, 2006. "Paid Placement: Advertising and Search on the Internet," Working Papers 06-02, NET Institute, revised Sep 2006.
  8. White, Alexander, 2013. "Search engines: Left side quality versus right side profits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 690-701.
  9. Benjamin Edelman & Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2005. "Internet Advertising and the Generalized Second Price Auction: Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Keywords," NBER Working Papers 11765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chris M. Wilson, 2008. "Ordered Search and Equilibrium Obfuscation," Economics Series Working Papers 401, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Varian, Hal R., 2007. "Position auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1163-1178, December.
  12. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004. "Auctioning Many Divisible Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 480-493, 04/05.
  13. Peter Cramton & Yoav Shoham & Richard Steinberg, 2007. "An Overview of Combinatorial Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 07oca, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
  14. Emir Kamenica, 2008. "Contextual Inference in Markets: On the Informational Content of Product Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2127-49, December.
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