Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Ordered Consumer Search

Armstrong, Mark (2016): Ordered Consumer Search.

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Abstract

The paper discusses situations in which consumers search through their options in a deliberate order, in contrast to more familiar models with random search. Topics include: network effects (consumers may be better off following the same search order as other consumers); the use of price and non-price advertising to direct search; the impact of consumers starting a new search with their previous supplier; the incentive sellers have to merge or co-locate with other sellers; and the incentive a seller can have to raise its own search cost. I also show how ordered search can be reformulated as a simpler discrete choice problem without search frictions.

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