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Search and ripoff externalities

Armstrong, Mark (2015): Search and ripoff externalities.

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This paper surveys models of markets in which only some consumers are "savvy". I discuss when the presence of savvy consumers improves the deals available to all consumers in the market (the case of search externalities), and when the non-savvy fund generous deals for all consumers (ripoff externalities). I also discuss when the two groups of consumers have aligned or divergent views about market interventions. The analysis focusses on two kinds of models: (i) an indivisible product in a market with price dispersion, and (ii) products which involve add-on pricing.

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