The Informativeness of Prices: Search With Learning and Cost Uncertainty
Aggregate cost uncertainty, arising from real shocks or unanticipated inflation, reduces the informativeness of prices by scrambling relative and aggregate variations. But when agents can acquire additional information, such increased noise may in fact lead them to become better informed, and price competition will intensify. We examine these issues in a model of search with learning, where consumers search optimally from an unknown price distribution while firms price optimally given consumers' search rules. We show that the decisive factor in whether inflation variability increases or reduces the incentive to search, and thereby market efficiency, is the size of informational costs.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1991|
|Publication status:||published as "Search with Learning from Prices: Does Increased Inflationary Uncertainty Lead to High Markups?", Review of Economic Studies, 60, (1993), p. 65-95|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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.:
- Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
- Hercowitz, Zvi, 1981. "Money and the Dispersion of Relative Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 328-356, April.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1991. "Perfect Bayesian equilibrium and sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 236-260, April.
- A. R. Pagan & A. D. Hall & P. K. Trivedi, 1983. "Assessing the Variability of Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 585-596.
- Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
- Stanley Fischer, 1981. "Relative Shocks, Relative Price Variability, and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 381-442.
- Roland Benabou, 1988. "Search, Price Setting and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 353-376.
- Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982.
"A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
- Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Rosenfield, Donald B. & Shapiro, Roy D., 1981. "Optimal adaptive price search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, August.
- Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
- Cukierman, Alex, 1983. "Relative price variability and inflation: A survey and further results," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 103-157, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3833. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.