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Do Internet Converge Prices to the "Law of One Price"? Evidence from Transaction Data for Airline Tickets



Internet presumably reduces search cost driving price to the competitive level. Evidence from empirical research quantifying dispersion in the electronic based markets has yield mixed results. More recent research has documented near zero dispersion in the electronic markets using transaction prices. This paper is one of only a handful of papers to examine the impact of internet on price dispersion using contemporaneous online and offline transaction data for airline ticket prices. The paper finds strong empirical evidence of lower dispersion in the electronic markets compared to the traditional markets, but fails to find evidence of near zero dispersion in the electronic markets, even with transaction prices. The results suggest that electronic markets exhibits significantly lower but positive dispersion, in contrary to the near zero dispersion as found in more recent empirical literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Anirban Sengupta, 2007. "Do Internet Converge Prices to the "Law of One Price"? Evidence from Transaction Data for Airline Tickets," Working Papers 07-26, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0726

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-539, December.
    2. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2004. "Price Dispersion in the Lab and on the Internet: Theory and Evidence," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 448-466, Autumn.
    3. Borenstein, Severin & Rose, Nancy L, 1994. "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 653-683, August.
    4. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
    5. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item


    Price Dispersion; Search cost; Online; Offline; Transaction Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities

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