Consumer Search on the Internet
This paper uses consumer search data to explain search frictions in online markets, within the context of an equilibrium search model. I use a novel dataset of consumer online browsing and purchasing behavior, which tracks all consumer search prior to each transaction. Using observed search intensities from the online book industry, I estimate search cost distributions that allow for asymmetric consumer sampling. Research on consumer search often assumes a symmetric sampling rule for analytical convenience despite its lack of realism. Search behavior in the online book industry is quite limited: in only 25 percen of the transactions did consumers visit more than one bookstore's website. The industry is characterized by a strong consumer preference for certain retailers. Accounting for unequal consumer sampling halves the search cost estimates from 1.8 to 0.9 dollars per search in the online book industry. Analysis of time spent online suggests substitution between the time consumers spend searching and the relative opportunity cost of their time. Retired people, those with lower education levels, and minorities (with the exception of Hispanics) spent significantly more time searching for a book online. There is a negative relationship between income levels and time spent searching.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1309 East Tenth Street, Room 451, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701|
Web page: http://kelley.iu.edu/bepp/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Karen Clay & Ramayya Krishnan & Eric Wolff, 2001.
"Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry,"
in: E-commerce, pages 521-539
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-39, December.
- Karen Clay & Ramayya Krishnan & Eric Wolff, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," NBER Working Papers 8271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baylis, Kathy & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2001.
"Price Dispersion on the Internet: Good Firms and Bad Firms,"
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series
qt2t0770rn, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Kathy Baylis & Jeffrey Perloff, 2002. "Price Dispersion on the Internet: Good Firms and Bad Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 305-324, November.
- Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, 06.
- Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2009.
"Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets,"
INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1139-1151, July.
- Baye, Michael & Morgan, John, 2004. "Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9760k3hz, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2005. "Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets," Working Papers 2005-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Michael Baye & John Morgan, 2005. "Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets," Microeconomics 0504009, EconWPA.
- MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002.
"Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
- Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Clay, Karen, et al, 2002. "Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-price Competition in the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2008-06. 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: (Rick Harbaugh)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.