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Consumer Search and Oligopolistic Pricing: An Empirical Investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten C.W. Janssen

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez

    (University of Groningen)

  • Matthijs R. Wildenbeest

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical examination of oligopoly pricingand consumer search. The theoretical model allows for sequential andnon-sequential search and using the theoretical restrictions firm andconsumer behavior impose on the data we study the empirical validity of themodels. Two equilibria arise: one with costless search and the other withcostly search. We find that the costless search equilibrium works well forproducts with a relatively low value, and, by implication, a small number ofsellers. By contrast, the costly search equilibrium explains the observeddata in a manner that is consistent with the underlying theoretical modelfor almost all products (for 86 out of 87!).

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten C.W. Janssen & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2004. "Consumer Search and Oligopolistic Pricing: An Empirical Investigation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-071/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20040071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ciara Whelan & Patrick P. Walsh & Franco Mariuzzo, 2004. "EU merger control in differentiated product industries," Open Access publications 10197/138, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumer search; oligopoly; price dispersion; maximum likelihood estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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