Market Structure and Market Performance in E-Commerce
36 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2012
Date Written: December 22, 2011
We investigate the effect of market structure on market performance in the market for consumer electronics. We exploit product life cycle information to build an instrumental variable for the number of firms in a market, a variable which hitherto had to be treated as exogenous in comparable studies on seller-behavior in e-commerce. We combine data from Austria's largest online site for price comparisons with retail data on wholesale prices provided by a major hardware producer for consumer electronics. We observe input prices of firms, and all their moves in the entry and the pricing game. Using this information for 70 digital cameras, we generate instrumental variables based on the shops' entry decisions in the past. We find that instrumenting is particularly important for estimating the effect of competition on the markup of the price leader.
Keywords: Retailing, Product Life Cycle, Market Structure, Market Performance, Markup, Price Dispersion
JEL Classification: L11, L13, L81, D43
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