Uncertain product availability in search markets


Atayev, Atabek


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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/61112
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-611129
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 21-089
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D43 , D82 , D83,
Keywords (English): consumer search , uncertain product availability , information asymmetry
Abstract: In many markets buyers are poorly informed about which firms sell the product (product availability) and prices, and therefore have to spend time to obtain this information. In contrast, sellers typically have a better idea about which rivals offer the product. Information asymmetry between buyers and sellers on product availability, rather than just prices, has not been scrutinized in the literature on consumer search. We propose a theoretical model that incorporates this kind of information asymmetry into a simultaneous search model. Our key finding is that greater product availability may harm buyers by mitigating their willingness to search and, thus, softening competition.

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