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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Onsel Emre

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July 2008E-commerce and the Market Structure of Retail Industries
with Maris Goldmanis, Ali Hortacsu, Chad Syverson: w14166
While a fast-growing body of research has looked at how the advent and diffusion of e-commerce has affected prices, much less work has investigated e-commerce's impact on the number and type of producers operating in an industry. This paper theoretically and empirically takes up the question of which businesses most benefit and most suffer as consumers switch to purchasing products online. We specify a general industry model involving consumers with differing search costs buying products from heterogeneous-type producers. We interpret e-commerce as having reduced consumers' search costs. We show how such reductions reallocate market shares from an industry's low-type producers to its high-type businesses. We test the model using U.S. data for three industries in which e-commerce has arguab...

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