NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Search Fatigue

Bruce Ian Carlin, Florian Ederer

NBER Working Paper No. 17895
Issued in March 2012
NBER Program(s):   CF   IO   POL

Consumer search is not only costly but also tiring. We characterize the intertemporal effects that search fatigue has on oligopoly prices, product proliferation, and the provision of consumer assistance (i.e., advice). These effects vary based on whether search is all-or-nothing or sequential in nature, whether learning takes place, and whether consumers exhibit brand loyalty. We perform welfare analysis and highlight the novel empirical implications that our analysis generates.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17895

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