Janssen, Maarten C. W. Moraga-González, José Luis Wildenbeest, Matthijs R.
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper 1292
This paper presents an empirical examination of oligopoly pricing and consumer search. The theoretical model allows for sequential and non-sequential search and, using the theoretical restrictions firm and consumer behavior impose on the data, we study the empirical validity of the models. Two equilibria arise: one with costless search and the other with costly search. We find that the costless search equilibrium works well for products with a relatively low value, and, by implication, a small number of sellers. By contrast, the costly search equilibrium explains the observed data in a manner that is consistent with the underlying theoretical model for almost all products (for 86 out of 87!).
consumer search oligopoly price dispersion maximum likelihood estimation