Search Fatigue

Bruce I. Carlin

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Florian Ederer

Yale School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

June 9, 2014

Consumer search is not only costly but also tiring. We characterize the intertemporal effects that search fatigue has on monopoly and oligopoly prices, the product lines offered by firms, 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. In contrast to standard search models, accounting for fatigue leads to product proliferation, time-varying prices and consumer assistance. We analyze the welfare implications of search fatigue and highlight the novel empirical implications that our analysis generates.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: consumer search, fatigue, product proliferation, time-varying prices, loss leadership

JEL Classification: D83, L13, D03, G02

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Date posted: August 29, 2012 ; Last revised: June 12, 2014

Suggested Citation

Carlin, Bruce I. and Ederer, Florian, Search Fatigue (June 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2137140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2137140

Contact Information

Bruce I. Carlin
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )
110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
Florian Ederer (Contact Author)
Yale School of Management ( email )
135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
HOME PAGE: http://faculty.som.yale.edu/florianederer/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )
Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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