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Firms' Strategies For Reducing The Effectiveness Of Consumer Price Search

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  • Ireland, Norman J

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper considers a simple model of competition based on some buyers making price comparisons between two suppliers. The difficulties of making appropriate comparisons are made greater by exclusive dealer agreements and restrictions, and by suppliers trading under more than one name. It is argued that suppliers will set prices using mixed strategies, and that prices become less competitive as price comparisons become more difficult. The implications for competition policy are considered in the light of recent judgements of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading and the European Court of Justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Ireland, Norman J, 2002. "Firms' Strategies For Reducing The Effectiveness Of Consumer Price Search," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 627, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:627
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    File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp627.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-659, September.
    3. John W. Pratt & David A. Wise & Richard Zeckhauser, 1979. "Price Differences in almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211.
    4. Ireland, Norman J, 1993. "The Provision of Information in a Bertrand Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 61-76, March.
    5. Arnold, Michael A, 2000. "Costly Search, Capacity Constraints, and Bertrand Equilibrium Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 117-131, February.
    6. Louis L. Wilde & Alan Schwartz, 1979. "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 543-553.
    7. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Garella, Paolo, 1986. "Subjective price search and price competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 305-316, September.
    8. Morten Hviid & Greg Shaffer, 1999. "Hassle Costs: The Achilles' Heel of Price-Matching Guarantees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 489-521, December.
    9. Wilde, Louis L. & Schwartz, Alan., "undated". "Equilibrium Comparison Shopping," Working Papers 184, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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