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Search Deterrence

Listed author(s):
  • Armstrong, Mark
  • Zhou, Jidong

This paper studies sales techniques which discourage consumer search by making it harder or more expensive to return to buy after a search for alternatives. It is unilaterally profitable for a seller to deter search under mild conditions, but sellers can suffer when all do so. When a seller cannot commit to its policy, it exploits the inference that those consumers who try to buy later have no good alternative, and in many cases the outcome is as if the seller could only make an exploding offer. Search deterrence results in sub-optimal matching of products to consumers and often raises the price consumers pay.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/60891/1/MPRA_paper_60891.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 60891.

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Date of creation: Dec 2014
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:60891
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  7. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
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  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. Alessandro Pavan & Ilya Segal & Juuso Toikka, 2014. "Dynamic Mechanism Design: A Myersonian Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(2), pages 601-653, 03.
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  17. Babur de los Santos, 2008. "Consumer Search on the Internet," Working Papers 2008-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  18. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Alexei Parakhonyak, 2011. "Consumer Search Markets with Costly Second Visits," Vienna Economics Papers 1102, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  19. Nocke, Volker & Peitz, Martin, 2008. "Advance-Purchase Discounts as a Price Discrimination Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 6664, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  21. Alexander L. Brown & Ajalavat Viriyavipart & Xiaoyuan Wang, 2014. "Exploding Offers with Experimental Consumer Goods," Working Papers 20141006-001, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
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  23. Karni, Edi & Schwartz, Aba, 1977. "Search theory: The case of search with uncertain recall," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 38-52, October.
  24. Zhou, Jidong, 2009. "Prominence and Consumer Search: The Case With Multiple Prominent Firms," MPRA Paper 12554, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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