We introduce a model of the retail firm in which consumers and active firms benefit collectively from coordination of sales at fewer firms. Using this model, we show that ostensibly uninformative advertising plays a key role in bringing about coordination economies, by directing consumer search toward firms taht offer the best deals. Optimal consumer scarch takes the form of a simple rule of thumb that uses observed advertising information to guide search. Both industry concentration and social surplus are higher in the presence of advertising, relative to a no-advertising benchmark.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1992|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014|
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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