IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mit/sloanp/5046.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Search and Product Differentiation at an Internet Shopbot

Author

Listed:
  • Brynjolfsson, Erik
  • Dick, Astrid Andrea
  • Smith, Michael D.

Abstract

Price dispersion among commodity goods is typically attributed to consumer search costs. We explore the magnitude of consumer search costs using a data set obtained from a major Internet shopbot. For the median consumer, the benefits to searching lower screens are $2.24 while the cost of an exhaustive search of the offers is a maximum of $2.03. Interestingly, in our setting, consumers who search more intensively are less price sensitive than other consumers, reflecting their increased weight on retailer differentiation in delivery time and reliability. Our results demonstrate that even in this nearly-perfect market, substantial price dispersion can exist in equilibrium from consumers preferences over both price and non-price attributes

Suggested Citation

  • Brynjolfsson, Erik & Dick, Astrid Andrea & Smith, Michael D., 2004. "Search and Product Differentiation at an Internet Shopbot," Working papers 4441-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5046
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/5046
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    3. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
    4. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Persistent Price Dispersion in Online Markets," Chapters,in: The New Economy and Beyond, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    6. Austan Goolsbee & Judith Chevalier, 2002. "Measuring Prices and Price Competition Online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble," NBER Working Papers 9085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    8. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
    10. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2009. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 427-452, March.
    11. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive?," NBER Working Papers 7996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
    13. Shugan, Steven M, 1980. " The Cost of Thinking," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 99-111, Se.
    14. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    15. Erik Brynjolfsson & Yu (Jeffrey) Hu & Michael D. Smith, 2003. "Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product Variety at Online Booksellers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1580-1596, November.
    16. 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 351-367, September.
    17. Peter E. Rossi & Robert E. McCulloch & Greg M. Allenby, 1996. "The Value of Purchase History Data in Target Marketing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(4), pages 321-340.
    18. Rafael Rob, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504.
    19. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    20. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    21. Johnson, Eric J & Russo, J Edward, 1984. " Product Familiarity and Learning New Information," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 542-550, June.
    22. Birger Wernerfelt, 1988. "Umbrella Branding as a Signal of New Product Quality: An Example of Signalling by Posting a Bond," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 458-466, Autumn.
    23. Alan T. Sorensen, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion in Retail Markets for Prescription Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 833-862, August.
    24. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    25. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    2. Stühmeier Torben, 2015. "Price Disclosure Rules and Consumer Price Comparison," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 815-835, April.
    3. Lesley Chiou, 2005. "Empirical Analysis of Retail Competition: Spatial Differentiation at Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and Their Competitors," Occidental Economics Working Papers 3, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2006.
    4. 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.
    5. Gérard P. Cachon & Christian Terwiesch & Yi Xu, 2008. "On the Effects of Consumer Search and Firm Entry in a Multiproduct Competitive Market," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 461-473, 05-06.
    6. Sha Yang & Anindya Ghose, 2010. "Analyzing the Relationship Between Organic and Sponsored Search Advertising: Positive, Negative, or Zero Interdependence?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 602-623, 07-08.
    7. Chen Liang & Yili Hong & Bin Gu, 2016. "Effects of IT-enabled Monitoring on Labor Contracting in Online Platforms: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 16-01, NET Institute.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5046. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ssmitus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.