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Equilibrium price dispersion with heterogeneous searchers

  • Chen, Yongmin
  • Zhang, Tianle

Firms simultaneously set prices in a homogeneous-product market where uninformed consumers search for price information. Some uninformed consumers are local searchers who visit only one seller, possibly due to high search costs or bounded rationality; whereas others search sequentially with an optimal reservation price. Equilibrium prices may follow a mixture distribution, with clusters of high and low prices separated by a zero-density gap. The presence of local searchers raises prices for high-value products but can lower prices for low-value products. A reduction in search cost sometimes leads to higher equilibrium prices.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/18757/1/MPRA_paper_18757.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16490.

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Date of creation: 27 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16490
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  1. 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.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
  3. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  4. Ran Spiegler, 2006. "The Market for Quacks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1113-1131.
  5. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2004. "Search, Obfuscation, and Price Elasticities on the Internet," NBER Working Papers 10570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Glenn Ellison, 2005. "A Model of Add-on Pricing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 585-637, May.
  8. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  9. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  10. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  12. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  13. Armstrong, Mark & Chen, Yongmin, 2007. "Inattentive Consumers and Product Quality," MPRA Paper 4797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-Gonz�lez, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118.
  15. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
  16. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  17. 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.
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