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Search Fatigue

  • Bruce Ian Carlin
  • Florian Ederer

Consumer search is not only costly but also tiring. We characterize the intertemporal effects that search fatigue has on oligopoly prices, product proliferation, and the provision of consumer assistance (i.e., advice). These effects vary based on whether search is all-or-nothing or sequential in nature, whether learning takes place, and whether consumers exhibit brand loyalty. We perform welfare analysis and highlight the novel empirical implications that our analysis generates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17895.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17895.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17895
Note: CF IO POL
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  1. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  2. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
  3. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1980. "A Model in Which an Increase in the Number of Sellers Leads to a Higher Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1575-79, September.
  4. Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Discussion Papers 335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
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  7. Bruce Ian Carlin & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Obfuscation, Learning, and the Evolution of Investor Sophistication," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 754-785.
  8. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-45, May.
  9. Braverman, Avishay, 1980. "Consumer Search and Alternative Market Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 487-502, April.
  10. Ran Spiegler, 2005. "Competition over Agents with Boundedly Rational Expectations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000535, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  12. Salop, Steven & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510, October.
  13. Braverman, Avishay & Dixit, Avinash, 1981. "Consumer Search and Market Equilibria: A Note," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 657-58, October.
  14. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
  15. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
  16. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  17. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
  18. Carlson, John A & McAfee, R Preston, 1983. "Discrete Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 480-93, June.
  19. Rob, Rafael, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504, July.
  20. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
  21. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2009. "A Search Cost Model of Obfuscation," NBER Working Papers 15237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
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