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Price Mathing Guarantees and Consumer Search

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten Janssen

    () (Department of Economics, University of Vienna and State University Higher School of Economics (Moscow))

  • Alexei Parakhonyak

    () (Center for Advanced Studies, State University Higher School of Economics.)

Abstract

This paper examines the e ect of price matching guarantees (PMGs) in a sequential search model. PMGs are simultaneously chosen with prices and some consumers (shoppers) know the rms' decisions before buying, while others (non-shoppers) enter a shop rst before observing a rm's price and whether or not the rm has a PMG. In such an environment, PMGs increase the value of buying the good and therefore increase consumers' reservation prices. This increase is so large that even after accounting for the possible execution of PMGs, rms pro ts are larger under PMGs than without. We also consider the incentives of rms to choose PMGs and show that an equilibrium where all rms o er PMGs does not exist because of a free-riding problem. PMGs can only be an equilibrium phenomenon in an equilibrium where some rms do and others do not o er these guarantees

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Price Mathing Guarantees and Consumer Search," HSE Working papers WP BRP 03/EC/2011, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:03/ec/2011
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    File URL: http://www.hse.ru/data/2012/01/17/1260438538/Maarten%20Janssen,%20Alexei%20Parakhonyak_PRIC..%20GUARANTEES%20AND%20CONSUMER%20SEARCH.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arbatskaya, Maria & Hviid, Morten & Shaffer, Greg, 2004. "On the Incidence and Variety of Low-Price Guarantees," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 307-332, April.
    2. Corts, Kenneth S., 1997. "On the competitive effects of price-matching policies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 283-299, May.
    3. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    4. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:2:p:449-465 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Thomas E. Cooper, 1986. "Most-Favored-Customer Pricing and Tacit Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 377-388, Autumn.
    6. Kaplan, Todd R., 2000. "Effective price-matching: a comment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1291-1294, December.
    7. Yuxin Chen & Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Z. John Zhang, 2001. "Consumer Heterogeneity and Competitive Price-Matching Guarantees," Marketing Science, INFORMS, pages 300-314.
    8. Png, I P L & Hirshleifer, D, 1987. "Price Discrimination through Offers to Match Price," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(3), pages 365-383, July.
    9. Corts, Kenneth S., 1995. "On the robustness of the argument that price-matching is anti-competitive," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(3-4), pages 417-421, March.
    10. Arbatskaya, Maria & Hviid, Morten & Shaffer, Greg, 2006. "On the use of low-price guarantees to discourage price cutting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1139-1156, November.
    11. Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 1999. "Hassle Costs: The Achilles' Heel of Price-Matching Guarantees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 489-521, December.
    12. Sridhar Moorthy & Ralph A. Winter, 2006. "Price‐matching guarantees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 449-465, June.
    13. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    14. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2005. "Truly costly sequential search and oligopolistic pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 451-466, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maarten Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2014. "Consumer search markets with costly revisits," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 481-514, February.
    2. Asker, John & Bar-Isaac, Heski, 2016. "Vertical Information Restraints: Pro- and Anti-Competitive Impacts of Minimum Advertised Price Restrictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 11579, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Alexei Parakhonyak & Anton Sobolev, 2015. "Non‐Reservation Price Equilibrium and Search without Priors," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 887-909, May.
    4. repec:kap:qmktec:v:15:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11129-017-9182-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Muck, Johannes, 2016. "Tariff-mediated network effects with incompletely informed consumers," DICE Discussion Papers 210, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. repec:aes:icmbdj:v:2:y:2016:i:1:p:109-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dong, Gang & Huang, Rongbing & Ng, Peggy, 2016. "Tacit collusion between two terminals of a port," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 199-211.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sequential Search; Price Matching Guarantees; Welfare Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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