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Price Comparison website

David Ronayne

No 270227, Economic Research Papers from University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Abstract: The large and growing industry of price comparison websites (PCWs) or ‘web aggregators’ is poised to benefit consumers by increasing competitive pricing pressure on firms by acquainting shoppers with more prices. However, these sites also charge firms for sales, which feeds back to raise prices. I investigate the impact of introducing PCWs to a market for a homogeneous good. I find that introducing a single PCW increases prices for all consumers, both those who use the sites, and those who do not. Under competing PCWs, prices tend to rise with the number of PCWs. I also conduct various extensions and use the analysis to discuss relevant industry practices and policies.

Keywords: Financial; Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com and nep-mkt
Date: 2018-03-19
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