Koh, Yumi, Gea M. Lee, Gene Moo Lee (2023) “Price Competition and Active or Inactive Consumer Search”. Working Paper. [Latest version: May 31, 2023] [SSRN]
We propose a price-competition model in which prices are dispersed and a fraction of consumers decide whether to make an immediate purchase without actively searching for prices or to search sequentially. We use an incomplete-information setting with heterogeneous production costs and information frictions: rms’ production cost types are drawn from an interval and are privately observed. The model includes active or inactive consumer search as an equilibrium outcome and allows a competition-induced switch between the two outcomes. We study how firms and consumers interact in determining prices and making an active or inactive search when competition intensifies with more firms.