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New product introduction and diffusion with costly search

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  • Chung Yi Tse

Abstract

Will the low search cost in the new economy help speed up new product introduction? The usual model of product market search suggests that a low search cost can turn out to have detrimental incentives on innovation and new product introduction as the low search cost erodes firms' market power, attenuating the profit from innovation. This usual model, however, misses the important dimension of product market search that how often it pays to search depends on the magnitude of the search cost. This paper studies a model of monopolistic competition with costly search, where the point of departure is that of a fixed cost of a shopping trip. With this fixed cost, the optimal search frequency is tied to the magnitude of the search cost. In this environment, a low search cost could turn out to be favorable to innovation. At a low search cost, consumers search more often, speeding up the diffusion of new products and possibly resulting in higher profits for firms, despite the erosion of market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Chung Yi Tse, 2004. "New product introduction and diffusion with costly search," 2004 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    2. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Vintage organization capital," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
    3. Kohn, Meir G. & Shavell, Steven, 1974. "The theory of search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 93-123, October.
    4. Pereira, Pedro, 2001. "Market power, cost reduction and consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1457-1473, November.
    5. Tse, C.Y.Chung Yi, 2004. "Search frictions, market power, and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 323-346, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    product market search; innovation; new product introduction;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General

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