IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/vie/viennp/0916.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Price Dispersion, Search Externalities, and the Digital Divide

Author

Abstract

We propose a model of price competition where consumers exogenously differ in the number of prices they compare. Our model can be interpreted either as a non–sequential search model or as a network model of price competition. We show that i) if consumers who previously just sampled one firm start to compare more prices all types of consumers will expect to pay a lower price and ii) if consumers who already sampled more than one price sample (even) more prices then there exists a threshold –the digital divide– such that all consumers comparing fewer prices than this threshold will expect to pay a higher price whereas all consumers comparing more prices will expect to pay a lower price than before.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred Nermuth & Giacomo Pasini & Paolo Pin & Simon Weidenholzer, 2009. "Price Dispersion, Search Externalities, and the Digital Divide," Vienna Economics Papers 0916, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:0916
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Papers.Econ/RePEc/vie/viennp/vie0916.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Morgan, John & Orzen, Henrik & Sefton, Martin, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 134-158, January.
    2. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
    3. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Oligopolistic pricing with heterogeneous consumer search," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 243-268.
    4. Saul Lach & José L. Moraga†González, 2017. "Asymmetric Price Effects of Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 767-803, December.
    5. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    6. Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2011. "An empirical model of search with vertically differentiated products," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(4), pages 729-757, December.
    7. Matthew O. Jackson & Leeat Yariv, 2007. "Diffusion of Behavior and Equilibrium Properties in Network Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 92-98, May.
    8. Lach, Saul & Moraga-González, José-Luis, 2009. "Heterogeneous Price Information and the Effect of Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 7319, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Corominas-Bosch, Margarida, 2004. "Bargaining in a network of buyers and sellers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 35-77, March.
    10. Burdett, Ken & Smith, Eric, 2010. "Price distributions and competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 180-183, March.
    11. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223.
    12. Waldeck, Roger, 2008. "Search and price competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 347-357, May.
    13. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Consumer Protection and the Incentive to Become Informed," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 399-410, 04-05.
    14. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    15. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
    16. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
    17. Michele Piccione & Ran Spiegler, 2012. "Price Competition Under Limited Comparability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 97-135.
    18. Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
    19. Wilde, Louis L. & Schwartz, Alan., "undated". "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Working Papers 184, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    20. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
    21. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    22. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118.
    23. Blume, Lawrence E. & Easley, David & Kleinberg, Jon & Tardos, Éva, 2009. "Trading networks with price-setting agents," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 36-50, September.
    24. Schluter, Christian, 1998. "Statistical inference with mobility indices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 157-162, May.
    25. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1980. "A Model in Which an Increase in the Number of Sellers Leads to a Higher Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1575-1579, September.
    26. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
    27. Louis L. Wilde & Alan Schwartz, 1979. "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 543-553.
    28. Rachel E. Kranton & Deborah F. Minehart, 2001. "A Theory of Buyer-Seller Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 485-508, June.
    29. Kuksov, Dmitri, 2006. "Search, common knowledge, and competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 95-108, September.
    30. Andrea Galeotti, 2010. "Talking, Searching, And Pricing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1159-1174, November.
    31. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
    32. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-1024, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Saul Lach & José L. Moraga†González, 2017. "Asymmetric Price Effects of Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 767-803, December.
    2. Zakaria Babutsidze, 2017. "Duopolistic Price Competition with Captives," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 903-926, November.
    3. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2018. "Bertrand competition under network externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 517-550.
    4. Sneha Bakshi, 0. "Limits of price competition: cost asymmetry and imperfect information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    5. Sneha Bakshi, 2020. "Limits of price competition: cost asymmetry and imperfect information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 49(4), pages 913-932, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Giacomo Pasini & Paolo Pin & Simon Weidenholzer, 2008. "A Network Model of Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2008.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Donna, Javier D. & Schenone, Pablo & Veramendi, Gregory F., 2020. "Networks, frictions, and price dispersion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 406-431.
    3. Rauh, Michael T., 2009. "Strategic complementarities and search market equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 959-978, July.
    4. Bernd Jost, 2012. "Price Dispersion, Search Costs and Spatial Competition: Evidence from the Austrian Retail Gasoline Market," NEURUS papers neurusp166, NEURUS - Network of European and US Regional and Urban Studies.
    5. Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2009. "Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 935-975, December.
    6. Backus, Matthew R. & Podwol, Joseph Uri & Schneider, Henry S., 2014. "Search costs and equilibrium price dispersion in auction markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 173-192.
    7. Anania, Giovanni & Nisticò, Rosanna, 2014. "Price dispersion and seller heterogeneity in retail food markets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 190-201.
    8. Obradovits, Martin, 2017. "Search and segregation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 137-165.
    9. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "A search cost model of obfuscation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, September.
    10. Haizhen Lin & Yijia Wang, 2012. "Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry," Working Papers 2012-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    11. Zakaria Babutsidze, 2017. "Duopolistic Price Competition with Captives," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 903-926, November.
    12. Chen, Yongmin & Zhang, Tianle, 2011. "Equilibrium price dispersion with heterogeneous searchers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 645-654.
    13. Gatti, J.R.J. & Kattuman, P., 2003. "Online Price Dispersion Within and Between Seven European Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0343, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Bruce I. Carlin & Florian Ederer, 2019. "Search Fatigue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 54(3), pages 485-508, May.
    15. Avi Weiss & Joshua Sherman, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Costs and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2014-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:smu:ecowpa:1301 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Alfredo Martin-Oliver & Vicente Salas-Fumas & Jesús Saurina, 2008. "Search Cost and Price Dispersion in Vertically Related Markets: The Case of Bank Loans and Deposits," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(4), pages 297-323, December.
    18. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Temporal Price Dispersion: Evidence from an Online Consumer Electronics Market," Working Papers 2004-04, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    19. Cason, Timothy N. & Datta, Shakun, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion in an optimal search model with advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 639-665, May.
    20. García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzís, Nikolaos & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa & Pereira, Pedro & Pernías-Cerrillo, J. Carlos, 2014. "On the evolution of monopoly pricing in Internet-assisted search markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 795-801.
    21. De los Santos, Babur, 2018. "Consumer search on the Internet," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 66-105.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:0916. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://econ.univie.ac.at/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Paper Administrator (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://econ.univie.ac.at/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.