IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpex/0110002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Consumer Search: Not Enough Or Too Much?

Author

Listed:
  • Rami Zwick

    (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Amnon Rapoport

    (University of Arizona)

  • Alison King Chung Lo

    (Duke University)

  • A. V. Muthukrishnan

    (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

We study search behavior in a generalized "secretary problem" environment in which consumers search sequentially for the best alternative from a known and finite set of multi-attribute alternatives. In contrast to most previous studies, we make no distributional assumptions about the quality of the alternatives. Rather, at each stage of the search the consumers are only assumed to be able to rank order the alternatives they have already inspected in terms of their overall quality. Our study departs from previous experimental investigations of the secretary problem by including search costs and allowing for recall (backward solicitation) of previously inspected alternatives. Both the number of alternatives and the cost of searching are manipulated experimentally in a factorial design. In the no-cost condition, we find that subjects do not search enough, whereas in the cost condition they search too much. We propose a simple behavioral decision model that incorporates both local and global patterns of the sequence--patterns that should have been ignored by a rational consumer--and then show that it can account for the major patterns of the observed results.

Suggested Citation

  • Rami Zwick & Amnon Rapoport & Alison King Chung Lo & A. V. Muthukrishnan, 2001. "Consumer Search: Not Enough Or Too Much?," Experimental 0110002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0110002
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; pages: 41; figures: included
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/exp/papers/0110/0110002.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Strategies of search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 309-332, April.
    2. Saad, Gad & Russo, J. Edward, 1996. "Stopping Criteria in Sequential Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 258-270, September.
    3. Zwick, Rami & Rapoport, Amnon & Weg, Eythan, 2000. "Invariance failure under subgame perfectness in sequential bargaining," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 517-544, October.
    4. Green, Paul E & Helsen, Kristiaan & Shandler, Bruce, 1988. "Conjoint Internal Validity under Alternative Profile Presentations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 392-397, December.
    5. Goldman, Arieh & Johansson, J K, 1978. "Determinants of Search for Lower Prices: An Empirical Assessment of the Economics of Information Theory," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 176-186, December.
    6. Braunstein, Yale M & Schotter, Andrew, 1982. "Labor Market Search: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 133-144, January.
    7. Urbany, Joel E, 1986. "An Experimental Examination of the Economics of Information," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 257-271, September.
    8. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1989. "Laboratory Experiments with a Finite-Horizon Job-Search Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 301-329, September.
    9. Dueker, Michael, 1999. "Conditional Heteroscedasticity in Qualitative Response Models of Time Series: A Gibbs-Sampling Approach to the Bank Prime Rate," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(4), pages 466-472, October.
    10. Schotter, Andrew & Braunstein, Yale M, 1981. "Economic Search: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, January.
    11. Rami Zwick & Ching Chyi Lee, 1999. "Bargaining and Search: An Experimental Study," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 8(6), pages 463-487, November.
    12. Hey, John D., 1987. "Still searching," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 137-144, March.
    13. Seale, Darryl A. & Rapoport, Amnon, 1997. "Sequential Decision Making with Relative Ranks: An Experimental Investigation of the "Secretary Problem">," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 221-236, March.
    14. Furse, David H & Punj, Girish N & Stewart, David W, 1984. "A Typology of Individual Search Strategies among Purchasers of New Automobiles," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 417-431, March.
    15. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-368, September.
    16. Claxton, John D & Fry, Joseph N & Portis, Bernard, 1974. "A Taxonomy of Prepurchase Information Gathering Patterns," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 35-42, December.
    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. Werner Güth & Ev Martin & Torsten Weiland, 2006. "Aspiration formation and satisficing in isolated and competitive search," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    2. Siegfried Berninghaus & Werner Güth & M. Levati & Jianying Qiu, 2011. "Satisficing search versus aspiration adaptation in sales competition: experimental evidence," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 40(1), pages 179-198, February.

    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. Rami Zwick & Amnon Rapoport & Alison King Chung Lo & A. V. Muthukrishnan, 2003. "Consumer Sequential Search: Not Enough or Too Much?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(4), pages 503-519, October.
    2. Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2009. "The relationship between risk attitudes and heuristics in search tasks: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 347-360, August.
    3. Boone, Jan & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & van Ours, Jan C., 2009. "Experiments on unemployment benefit sanctions and job search behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 937-951, November.
    4. Feri, Francesco & Gantner, Anita, 2011. "Bargaining or searching for a better price? - An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 376-399, June.
    5. Aalbers, Rob & van der Heijden, Eline & Potters, Jan & van Soest, Daan & Vollebergh, Herman, 2009. "Technology adoption subsidies: An experiment with managers," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 431-442, May.
    6. Pantelis P. Analytis & Amit Kothiyal & Konstantinos Katsikopoulos, 2014. "Multi-attribute utility models as cognitive search engines," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(5), pages 403-419, September.
    7. DeSarbo, Wayne S. & Choi, Jungwhan, 1998. "A latent structure double hurdle regression model for exploring heterogeneity in consumer search patterns," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 423-455, November.
    8. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    9. Daniel Friedman & Kai Pommerenke & Rajan Lukose & Garrett Milam & Bernardo Huberman, 2007. "Searching for the sunk cost fallacy," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(1), pages 79-104, March.
    10. Sonnemans, Joep, 2000. "Decisions and strategies in a sequential search experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 91-102, February.
    11. Daniela Cagno & Tibor Neugebauer & Carlos Rodriguez-Palmero & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2014. "Recall searching with and without recall," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 297-311, October.
    12. Timothy N. Cason & Shakun D. Mago, 2010. "Costly Buyer Search In Laboratory Markets With Seller Advertising," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 424-449, June.
    13. Nicolas Jacquemet & Olivier L’Haridon & Isabelle Vialle, 2014. "Marché du travail, évaluation et économie expérimentale," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 189-226.
    14. Schunk, Daniel, 2005. "Search behaviour with reference point preferences : theory and experimental evidence," Papers 05-12, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    15. Nicolas Jacquemet & Olivier L’Haridon & Isabelle Vialle, 2014. "Marché du travail, évaluation et économie expérimentale," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 189-226.
    16. Schunk, Daniel, 2009. "Behavioral heterogeneity in dynamic search situations: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1719-1738, September.
    17. James Cox & Ronald Oaxaca, 2000. "Good News and Bad News: Search from Unknown Wage Offer Distributions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 197-225, March.
    18. Bearden, J. Neil & Connolly, Terry, 2007. "Multi-attribute sequential search," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 147-158, May.
    19. Felix Klimm & Martin G. Kocher & Timm Optiz & Simeon Andreas Dermot Schudy & Simeon Schudy, 2021. "Time Pressure and Regret in Sequential Search," CESifo Working Paper Series 9122, CESifo.
    20. Fu, Jingcheng & Sefton, Martin & Upward, Richard, 2019. "Social comparisons in job search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 338-361.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    search; secretary problem; Sequential Choice Models; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory

    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:wpa:wuwpex:0110002. 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://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    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: EconWPA (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    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.