Heterogeneous Price Information and the Effect of Competition
This paper examines how the distribution of prices and consumer welfare change with the number of competitors in a model where consumers di¤er in the amount of price information they have. We only assume that an increase in the number of competitors results in an increase in the probability that consumers observe more prices. We then show, first, that the lower percentiles of the price distribution must decrease when the number of competitors goes up, while the higher percentiles of the price distribution need not decrease. We next provide a sufficient condition for all price percentiles to decline. In such a situation, some percentiles fall more than others, which leads to asymmetric consumer welfare gains from increased competition. Third, we provide a sufficient condition under which the higher percentiles of the distribution of prices paid by all types of consumers increase. When this happens, the probability that a consumer already paying a high price will pay even a higher price increases and it may even be the case that some consumers experience a welfare loss on average. Nevertheless, the weighted average price paid by consumers - the consumer surplus - always (weakly) decreases with increased competition. We provide an empirical strategy to identify how the response of prices to increased competition varies along the price distribution and use gasoline price data from the Netherlands to illustrate.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118.
- Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009.
"Consumer Protection and the Incentive to Become Informed,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 399-410, 04-05.
- Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John & Zhou, Jidong, 2008. "Consumer protection and the incentive to become informed," MPRA Paper 9898, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Mark Armstrong, 2008.
"Interactions between Competition and Consumer Policy,"
Competition Policy International, vol. 4.
- Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Interactions between competition and consumer policy," MPRA Paper 7258, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose L. & Sandor, Zsolt & Wildenbees, Matthijs R., 2010.
"Nonsequential search equilibrium with search cost heterogeneity,"
IESE Research Papers
D/869, IESE Business School.
- Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Zsolt Sandor & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2010. "Nonsequential Search Equilibrium with Search Cost Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2010-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991.
"The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information,"
Purdue University Economics Working Papers
1007, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C., 1992. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," Papers 8-92-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Varies, C.G., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Papers 9051, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Baye, M. & Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," Discussion Paper 1990-51, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011.
"An empirical model of search with vertically differentiated products,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 729-757, December.
- Matthijs R Wildenbeest, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Search with Vertically Differentiated Products," Working Papers 2009-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Barron, John M. & Taylor, Beck A. & Umbeck, John R., 2004. "Number of sellers, average prices, and price dispersion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1041-1066, November.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1981.
"Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
- Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matthew Lewis, 2008. "PRICE DISPERSION AND COMPETITION WITH DIFFERENTIATED SELLERS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 654-678, 09.
- Fershtman, Chaim & Fishman, Arthur, 1992.
"Price Cycles and Booms: Dynamic Search Equilibrium,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1221-33, December.
- Fershtman, C. & Fishman, A., 1989. "Price Cycles And Booms Dynamic Search Equilibrium," Papers 8922, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Fershtman, C. & Fishman, A., 1989. "Price Cycles And Booms: Dynamic Search Equilibrium," Papers 1-89, Tel Aviv.
- Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
- Adriaan R. Soetevent & Marco A. Haan & Pim Heijnen, 2008. "Do Auctions and Forced Divestitures increase Competition?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-117/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 02 Aug 2011.
- Armstrong, Mark, 2006. "Price discrimination," MPRA Paper 4693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001.
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
- Ambarish Chandra & Mariano Tappata, 2011. "Consumer search and dynamic price dispersion: an application to gasoline markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 681-704, December.
- Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
- Alan Schwartz & Louis L. Wilde, 1985. "Product Quality and Imperfect Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 251-262.
- Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2009. "Does Competition Reduce Price Dispersion? New Evidence from the Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37, 02.
- Morgan, John & Orzen, Henrik & Sefton, Martin, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 134-158, January.
- repec:clu:wpaper:0405-20 is not listed on IDEAS
- Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
- Waterson, Michael, 2003. "Consumers and Competition," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 679, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Wu, Ximing, 2007. "Tax incidence varies across the price distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 116-119, July.
- Baye, Michael R. & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G., 1992. "It takes two to tango: Equilibria in a model of sales," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 493-510, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7319. 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: ()The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct email address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.