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Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online

Author

Listed:
  • Michael R. Baye

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

  • J. Rupert J. Gatti

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Paul Kattuman

    (University of Cambridge)

  • John Morgan

    (University of California at Berkeley)

Abstract

The market values of online platforms, such as Yahoo, stem from their ability to monetize the clicks they generate for firms advertising on their sites. We exploit a unique dataset on clicks from one of Yahoo's price comparison sites to estimate the determinants of clicks received by online retailers. We find that a firm enjoys a 60% jump in its clicks when it offers the lowest price at the site. This discontinuity is consistent with a variety of models that have been used to rationalize the price dispersion observed in online markets. We also show that one may use estimates of the determinants of a firm's clicks to obtain bounds on its underlying demand parameters, including own- and cross-price elasticities. Our results have potentially significant ramifications for online retailers, platforms, and policymakers: Failure to account for discontinuities distorts parameter estimates by 50 to 100 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2006. "Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online," Working Papers 2006-21, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2005-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hackl, Franz & Kummer, Michael E. & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zulehner, Christine, 2014. "Market structure and market performance in E-commerce," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 199-218.
    2. Armstrong, Mark, 2016. "Ordered Consumer Search," MPRA Paper 72194, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Oleksandr Talavera, 2017. "Price Setting in Online Markets: Basic Facts, International Comparisons, and Cross-Border Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 249-282, January.
    4. Helmers, Christian & Krishnan, Pramila & Patnam, Manasa, 2015. "Attention and Saliency on the Internet: Evidence from an Online Recommendation System," CEPR Discussion Papers 10939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Hu, Yu Jeffrey & Tang, Zhulei, 2014. "The impact of sales tax on internet and catalog sales: Evidence from a natural experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 84-90.
    6. Baye, Michael R. & De los Santos, Babur & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2016. "What’s in a name? Measuring prominence and its impact on organic traffic from search engines," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-57.
    7. Novarese, Marco & Wilson, Chris M., 2013. "Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice," MPRA Paper 48074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Michelle Haynes & Steve Thompson, 2013. "Entry and Exit Behavior in the Absence of Sunk Costs: Evidence from a Price Comparison Site," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 42(1), pages 1-23, February.
    9. Yonghong An & Michael R. Baye & Yingyao Hu & John Morgan & Matt Shum, 2010. "Horizontal Mergers of Online Firms: Structural Estimation and Competitive Effects," Economics Working Paper Archive 564, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    10. repec:wly:japmet:v:32:y:2017:i:1:p:80-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Luís Cabral & Gabriel Natividad, 2016. "Box-Office Demand: The Importance of Being #1," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 277-294, June.
    12. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:4:p:918-938. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Philipp Herrmann & Michael Mueller, 2014. "Is it Always Best to be on Top? The Effect of Ad Positioning on Key Performance Indicators in Search Engine Advertising," Working Papers Dissertations 09, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    14. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search in Electronic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1605-1622, October.
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    16. Yonghong An & Michael R. Baye & Yingyao Hu & John Morgan & Matt Shum, 2017. "Identification and Estimation of Online Price Competition With an Unknown Number of Firms," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(1), pages 80-102, January.
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    19. Mark Armstrong & Jidong Zhou, 2011. "Paying for Prominence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 368-395, November.
    20. Michelle Haynes & Steve Thompson & Peter W. Wright, 2014. "New Model Introductions, Cannibalization and Market Stealing: Evidence from Shopbot Data," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(4), pages 385-408, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising

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