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Real and Virtual Competition



Although the Internet reduces market frictions by making it easier for consumers to obtain information about prices and product offerings, goods sold by electronic firms are not perfect substitutes for otherwise identical goods sold by conventional stores. Online purchases, due to non-zero shipping time, are associated with waiting costs, and they do not allow consumers to inspect the product prior to purchase. Visiting a conventional store, on the other hand, involves positive travelling costs. A model extending the circular city paradigm with two types of firms, conventional and electronic, is studied. Under the benchmark setting with only conventional firms in the market, each consumer visits the nearest store and purchases the product there. When electronic firms enter the market, an intriguing type of market segmentation may arise. First, each consumer travels to the nearest conventional store to "try on" the product. Second, conventional retailers increase their prices and sell the good only to consumers who discover that they have high valuations; consumers with low valuations return "home" and order the good online. In spite of the increased competition from Internet retailers, welfare decreases.

Suggested Citation

  • Oksana Loginova, 2007. "Real and Virtual Competition," Working Papers 0715, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0715

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter J. Danaher & Isaac W. Wilson & Robert A. Davis, 2003. "A Comparison of Online and Offline Consumer Brand Loyalty," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(4), pages 461-476, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jin Guo & Yingzhi Xu, 2016. "Externalities of urban agglomerations: An empirical study on Chinese case," ERSA conference papers ersa16p64, European Regional Science Association.
    2. O. Loginova & A. Mantovani, 2015. "Information and Online Reviews," Working Papers wp996, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Oksana Loginova & Andrea Mantovani, 2015. "Price Competition in the Presence of a Web Aggregator," Working Papers 1616, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 17 Aug 2016.
    4. André De Palma & Alexandre Guimard, 2014. "Urbanism, an overview," Working Papers hal-00969574, HAL.
    5. Bang, Se Hoon & Kim, Jaesoo, 2013. "Price discrimination via information provision," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 215-224.

    More about this item


    Electronic Commerce; Oligopoly Pricing; Market Segmentation; Spatial Competition.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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