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Competition in the Computer Industry

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  • Austan Goolsbee

Abstract

This paper estimates the relative price sensitivity of individuals' choice of whether to buy computers online versus in retail stores using a new data source on the computer purchase behavior of more than 20,000 people. To estimate the degree of competition between the two channels, the paper uses a two step approach. First, it fits hedonic regressions for the prices paid for a computer in a retail store as a function of characteristics. The coefficients on the city fixed effects in these regressions give a measure of the retail price level The second stage then looks at whether individuals purchase their computers in stores versus online as a function of the retail price and their own personal characteristics. The results indicate that the decision to buy remotely is sensitive to the relative price of computers in retail stores and that it varies by type of customer and type of computer. Conditional on buying a computer, the overall elasticity of buying remotely with respect to retail store prices is about 1.5.

Suggested Citation

  • Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "Competition in the Computer Industry," NBER Working Papers 8351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Greenstein, Shane, 1999. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-40, March.
    2. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    3. Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-519, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "The Implications of Electronic Commerce for Fiscal Policy (and Vice Versa)," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 13-23, Winter.
    2. Friberg, Richard & Ganslandt, Mattias & Sandström, Mikael, 2001. "Pricing Strategies in E-Commerce: Bricks vs. Clicks," Working Paper Series 559, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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