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Entry and Welfare in Search Markets

  • Chen, Yongmin
  • Zhang, Tianle

The effects of entry on consumer and total welfare are studied in a model of consumer search. Potential entrants differ in quality, with high-quality sellers being more likely to meet consumer needs. Contrary to the standard view in economics that more entry benefits consumers, we find that consumer welfare has an inverted-U relationship with entry cost, and free entry is excessive for both consumer and total welfare when entry cost is relatively low. We explain why these results may arise naturally in search markets due to the variety and quality effects of entry, and discuss their business and policy implications.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/52241/1/MPRA_paper_52241.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52241.

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Date of creation: 14 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52241
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  1. AMIR, Rabah & LAMBSON, Val, 1999. "On the effects of entry in Cournot markets," CORE Discussion Papers 1999059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Wolinsky, Asher, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511, August.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  4. Marco A. Haan & José L. Moraga‐González, 2011. "Advertising for Attention in a Consumer Search Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 552-579, 05.
  5. Seade, Jesus K, 1980. "On the Effects of Entry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 479-89, March.
  6. Anderson, S.P. & Renault, R., 1997. "Pricing, Product Diversity and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," Papers 97.481, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  7. 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.
  8. Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1979. "Consumer Information, Equilibrium Industry Price, and the Number of Sellers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(2), pages 483-502, Autumn.
  9. Susan Athey & Glenn Ellison, 2007. "Position Auctions with Consumer Search," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001633, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  11. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  12. Heski Bar-Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cuñat, 2009. "Search, Design and Market Structure," Working Papers 09-17, NET Institute, revised Sep 2009.
  13. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Prominence and consumer search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
  14. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2008. "Price-increasing competition," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1042-1058.
  15. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  16. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  17. Cabral, Luis M. B., 2004. "Simultaneous entry and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 943-957, October.
  18. M. L. Weitzman, 1978. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Working papers 214, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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