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On Polarized Prices and Costly Sequential Search

  • Ruth G. Gilgenbach

    ()

    (Southern Methodist University)

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    This paper presents a homogenous goods duopoly model of costly sequential consumer search with three classes of consumers: costless searchers; moderately costly searchers; and consumers for whom search costs are extremely high--higher than the value they attach to the good. Under certain conditions, the mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium price distribution is one where low and high, but never moderate, prices are charged. In equilibrium, free searchers will always search for both prices, very costly searchers never will, and moderately costly searchers will engage in actual search with positive probability. Interestingly, the existence of consumers who do not themselves search for prices allows for the introduction of an equilibrium where costly search does occur.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp1.economics.smu.edu/WorkingPapers/2009/GILGENBACH-2009-11.pdf
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    Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 0907.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:0907
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496
    Phone: 214-768-2715
    Fax: 214-768-1821
    Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics

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    1. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Non, Marielle C., 2008. "Advertising and consumer search in a duopoly model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 354-371, January.
    2. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    3. Janssen, Maarten C.W. & Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2005. "Truly costly sequential search and oligopolistic pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 451-466, June.
    4. Robert, Jacques & Stahl, Dale O, II, 1993. "Informative Price Advertising in a Sequential Search Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 657-86, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
    7. Roy, Santanu, 2000. "Strategic segmentation of a market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(8), pages 1279-1290, December.
    8. Deneckere, Raymond J & Kovenock, Dan & Lee, Robert, 1992. "A Model of Price Leadership Based on Consumer Loyalty," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 147-56, June.
    9. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
    10. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
    11. Narasimhan, Chakravarthi, 1988. "Competitive Promotional Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 427-49, October.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "Competition and the Number of Firms in a Market: Are Duopolies More Competitive than Atomistic Markets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1041-61, October.
    13. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    14. repec:dgr:uvatin:2004068 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
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