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Uncertainty and Shopping Behavior: An Experimental Analysis

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  • Grether, David M.
  • Schwartz, Alan
  • Wilde, Louis L.

Abstract

This paper reports experimental tests of three search equilibrium models. These models which differ only in the search strategies available to the buyers have qualitatively different predictions, that is, equilibria: price distributions, single price equilibria at the competitive price and at the monopoly price and two price equilibria. The experimental outcomes generally were consistent with the models' predictions. This suggests that debate on the utility of this class of models should shift to the realism of the models' assumptions rather than focus on their ability to characterize market outcomes. Also, since the basic models have been validated, the project of analysing experimentally the results of relaxing some of their assumptions seems worthwhile.
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Suggested Citation

  • Grether, David M. & Schwartz, Alan & Wilde, Louis L., "undated". "Uncertainty and Shopping Behavior: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 511, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:511
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    Cited by:

    1. Bayer, Ralph-C. & Ke, Changxia, 2013. "Discounts and consumer search behavior: The role of framing," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 215-224.
    2. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J., 2004. "Credit card rates and consumer search," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1-2), pages 179-198.
    3. Huailu Li & Kevin Lang & Kaiwen Leong, 2018. "Does Competition Eliminate Discrimination? Evidence from the Commercial Sex Market in Singapore," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(611), pages 1570-1608, June.
    4. Ralph-C Bayer & Changxia Ke, 2011. "Are "Rockets and Feathers" Caused by Search or Informational Frictions," Working Papers are_rockets_and_feathers_, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    5. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2011. "Regulation Failure and CO2-emissions: An Experimental Investigation of the Cape Town Taxi Market," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 12 Aug 2013.
    6. TomÔÇÉReiel Heggedal & Leif Helland & Espen R. Moen, 2024. "Sequential Price Setting: Theory And Evidence From A Lab Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 65(2), pages 693-727, May.
    7. James Cox & Ronald Oaxaca, 2000. "Good News and Bad News: Search from Unknown Wage Offer Distributions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 197-225, March.
    8. Yavas, Abdullah, 2001. "The immediacy service of the specialist as a coordination mechanism," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 205-221, July.
    9. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2015. "Efficient informal trade: Theory and experimental evidence from the Cape Town taxi market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 85-98.
    10. Ralph-C Bayer & Changxia Ke, 2010. "Rockets and Feathers in the Laboratory," School of Economics and Public Policy Working Papers 2010-20, University of Adelaide, School of Economics and Public Policy.
    11. Dmitry Ryvkin & Danila Serra, 2019. "Is More Competition Always Better? An Experimental Study Of Extortionary Corruption," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 50-72, January.
    12. Alexander L. Brown & Ajalavat Viriyavipart & Xiaoyuan Wang, 2014. "Exploding Offers with Experimental Consumer Goods," Working Papers 20141006-001, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
    13. Sebnem Bahadir-Lust & Jens-Peter Loy & Christoph R. Weiss, 2007. "Are they always offering the lowest price? An empirical analysis of the persistence of price dispersion in a low inflation environment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 777-788.
    14. Alexander L. Brown & Rodrigo A. Velez, 2014. "The costs and benefits of symmetry in common-ownership allocation problems," Working Papers 20141106-10001, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
    15. Brown, Alexander L. & Viriyavipart, Ajalavat & Wang, Xiaoyuan, 2018. "Search deterrence in experimental consumer goods markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 167-184.
    16. Cason, Timothy N. & Datta, Shakun, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion in an optimal search model with advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 639-665, May.

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