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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. Carlin, Bruce I., 2009. "Strategic price complexity in retail financial markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 278-287, March.
  2. Ran Spiegler, 2005. "Competition over Agents with Boundedly Rational Expectations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000535, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  5. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2009. "A Search Cost Model of Obfuscation," NBER Working Papers 15237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  8. M. L. Weitzman, 1978. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Working papers 214, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
  11. 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.
  12. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1979. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 851-58, August.
  13. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and ripoffs: a model of monopolistically competitive price dispersion," Special Studies Papers 94, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  17. MacMinn, Richard D, 1980. "Search and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 308-27, April.
  18. Rob, Rafael, 1985. "Equilibrium Price Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 487-504, July.
  19. 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.
  20. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-45, May.
  21. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  22. Braverman, Avishay, 1980. "Consumer Search and Alternative Market Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 487-502, April.
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