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Price Dispersion

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  • Simon P. Anderson
  • André de Palma

Abstract

We describe firm pricing when consumers search passively and follow simple reservation price rules. In stark contrast to other models in the literature, this approach yields equilib- rium price dispersion in pure strategies even when firms have the same marginal costs. In equilibrium, lower price firms earn higher profits. The range of price dispersion increases with the number of firms: the highest price is the monopoly one, while the lowest price tends to marginal cost. The average transaction price remains substantially above marginal cost even with many firms. Introducing shoppers who buy from the cheapest firm may increase market prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2003. "Price Dispersion," Virginia Economics Online Papers 361, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:361
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    Cited by:

    1. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Ivan P.L. Png, 2005. "Sales and Promotions: A More General Model," Industrial Organization 0508014, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price dispersion; reservation price rule; passive search.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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