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Strategic Inattention in Product Search

MPS-Authors
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Hillenbrand,  Adrian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

Hippel,  Svenja
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hillenbrand, A., & Hippel, S. (2017). Strategic Inattention in Product Search.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-FEF3-B
Abstract
Rapid technological developments in online markets fundamentally change the relationship between consumers and sellers. Online platforms can now easily gather data about the consumer and his search behavior, that allow for price discrimination. Therefore the consumers’ product search becomes a strategic choice. Consumers face a trade-off: Search intensely and receive a better fit at a potentially higher price or restrict search behavior – be strategically inattentive – and receive a worse fit, but maybe a better deal. We study the resulting strategic buyer-seller interaction theoretically as well as experimentally. Our experimental results shed a critical light on the added value for consumers through the rise of online platforms.